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Meatballs made easy

Spaghetti with meatballs has become a classic Italian-American dish. The reason is that it is rich, satisfying and simple. Follow a few basic steps for meatballs made easy.

The meat content can be minced beef or minced pork, or often a combination of the two. Pork provides a moister, fattier meatball, while beef requires a little more binding to retain its shape while cooking.

Combine your meat with an egg, chopped garlic, and your choice of herbs. Parsley, oregano and basil are the popular options. Season with a little salt and pepper.

To make your meatball recipe an economic option if you are feeding a large family, bulk out the meatball mixture with some bread that has been soaked in milk. This also helps to bind the meatballs and gives them a smoother texture.

Mix by hand, ensuring all the ingredients are combined well. Divide into meatballs, dusting with a little flour if they are too sticky. The size of your meatballs comes down to personal preference. For hearty family dishes, substantial meatballs are ideal. For kids, use a teaspoon to measure dainty meatballs that obviously require less cooking.

The best way to cook meatballs is a matter of some dispute among chefs. The easiest way is to fry them on a high heat to brown the surface, then simmer them gently in a classic Italian tomato sauce for about 15 minutes.

Serve meatballs with spaghetti or linguine, a little shaved Parmesan and a fresh green salad to complement all that rich meat and sauce.

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