Pork Sausage Meatballs

This is Marie, contributing an article about meatballs – specifically, a paleo meatball recipe that Grant turned up. We are unapologetically blase about mixing trends and served ours on noodles, but if you are looking for paleo it’s good up to that point.

Grant turned up the recipe on an interesting blog called The Adventures of Brangie. I like the approach of the author, who is like me in her willingness to fudge the exact quantities when following a recipe, or substitute ingredients just because. That, and the fact that I had some pork chorizo in the freezer, and in addition wished to have a decent excuse to visit Whole Foods, tipped me towards making these for our pasta night.

We make pasta once a week at least, and while my go-to recipe is crumbled Italian sausage in either basil or puttanesca sauce, my toddler loves meatballs with a passion unmatched for any food that isn’t utterly bad for him (chocolate, popsicles, and Goldfish come to mind). However, the teen isn’t as fond of them as all that, so I thought perhaps she might like them if they tasted different. And she was motivated enough to do a significant portion of the work of mixing and forming the meatballs, which was much appreciated!

Ingredients were modified to approximately 1.5 times the original in order to accommodate a larger group. We also like to have at least one portion of leftovers available.

1 lb. Italian pork sausage and .5 lb chorizo pork sausage, pulled out of the skins
1/3 cup almond meal, or as needed (add gradually) or use breadcrumbs, etc. if not going paleo.
1 egg
3/4 tsp cayenne powder (or to taste)
1 tsp red pepper flakes to mix into the sauce (I left these out of the mix as they can be added on top of the cooked meatballs and there was a toddler eating them)
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp onion powder (I just put some finely grated fresh onion in, but didn’t measure)
As much marinara sauce as you see fit to use – I had one full container and it wasn’t quite enough
salt and pepper to taste

First mix all the ingredients and form the sausage into loose balls, golf ball sized or smaller. Don’t overwork the meat or it gets tough, and try to keep all the balls the same size. Put some olive oil into a skillet and when it’s sizzling, put in some of the meatballs. Depending on the size of your skillet you may need to work in batches as the meatballs should not touch while you are searing them. Only cook to sear the outside. Drain off excess fat if needed, then add marinara sauce with the pepper flakes into the same pan. Simmer until the meatballs are fully cooked, just barely pink on the very center, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, if you are non-paleo, start some pasta. Otherwise, serve with the veggies or other side of your choice.

I like to use the pasta-water technique of finishing the sauce. About one minute before the pasta is totally done, take out a cup or so of the starchy pasta water and drain the rest. Return the pasta to the pot with several spoonfuls of sauce and some of the pasta water; ad more gradually if needed, keeping in mind that you generally don’t need it all. When the liquid has been mostly absorbed and the sauce in the noodles is glossy, take off the heat, add the rest of the sauce (I only didn’t add it all because the meatballs were in it) and combine.

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One thought on “Pork Sausage Meatballs

  1. Hi Marie, thanks for stopping by our blog 🙂 Hope you enjoyed the recipe!

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