Italian meatballs | designlovefest

i had never made meatballs until about a year ago and now i’ve made them 10 times. they are so simple and can be paired with so many things – arugula salad, brown rice, pasta, roasted veggies and now cauliflower mash. the addition of toast was unnecessary but i went to jon and vinny’s a few weeks ago and had their meatballs served with toast and have been completely obsessed ever since. if you’re in los angeles you have to go and try them. this whole meal is ideal for a group, meatballs come together quickly and you can set them out on a platter with a mound of ricotta cheese, roasted tomatoes, some grilled bread and a bowl of cauliflower mash. there’s something for everyone! – joanie 

Italian meatballs | designlovefest

i use Alice Water’s Italian meatball recipe from The Art of Simple Food as the base and edit it depending on what i have on hand. meatballs tend to be very forgiving, measurements don’t have to be right on, you can use turkey instead of beef, or onion powder instead of garlic, add tomato paste or use panko instead of country bread and it will all work out in the end (for the most part).

what you’ll need: 
serves 4-6
• 1 lbs ground grass-fed beef
• 3/4 pound ground pork shoulder
• 1 cup torn-up pieces of day old country style bread
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 small yellow onion -grated on the large holed side of a box grater
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 garlic gloved pressed into a paste (or finely chopped)
• 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
• pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
• 1 egg lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Italian meatballs | designlovefest
Italian meatballs | designlovefest
Italian meatballs | designlovefest

– preheat your oven to 400 degrees. mix the milk and bread crumbs together and set aside to soak. season the ground meats with salt and pepper and then add all remaining ingredients. mix gently with your hand, do not over mix. add the bread crumbs, squeezing out an extra milk and mix again. gently form the meatballs by hand, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes until just cooked through.

Italian meatballs | designlovefest
Italian meatballs | designlovefest

cauliflower mash 
• 1 head of cauliflower
• half a stick of butter
• 2 oz cream cheese
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 2 tablespoons milk

making the cauliflower mash

• in a pot bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil. cut the cauliflower into florets and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes very tender. drain all the liquid and add the butter and cream cheese. stir constantly to melt the ingredients. transfer the ingredients to a blender (or use an immersion blender). blend on low speed and slowly add the two tablespoons of milk. add the salt.

Italian meatballs | designlovefest
Italian meatballs | designlovefest

roasted tomato on toast 
• 8 small tomatoes on the vine
• olive oil
• salt
• 6-8 slices of bread
• ricotta
• chili flakes

making the roasted tomato on toast

preheat oven to 375. on a baking sheet, lightly coat the tomatoes with olive oil. garnish with salt. place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until skin has puckered and tomatoes are a bit soggy.

brush olive oil on the sliced toasts and pan fry them. brush a layer of ricotta onto each toast and lay 2-3 tomatoes. garnish with olive oil and chili flakes.

Italian meatballs | designlovefest
Italian meatballs | designlovefest

styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis
photos by: ivan solis


Add your own

    Samantha Lee says:

    I have never really been a meatball maker or eater (haha), but lately I’ve LOVED making them alongside some Brussels sprouts. I use turkey, and it’s so easy. I really do want to try this cauliflower mash though.

    Annabelle says:

    Omg this looks absolutely delicious! Making me so hungry!

    x Annabelle

    love this recipe! and the plates are stunning..! anyone know what brand are they? tks!

    Ivan Solis says:

    It is called Glenna dinnerware from anthropologie!

    Laura says:

    not to be the grammmar police… but it’s immersion blender (not emersion) and it works right in the pot. you can’t transfer anything into it.

    anyway, this looks so so good!

    Alfreda says:

    This looks so good! I’ve never had luck with the cauliflower mash but this inspires me to try again. Yum!

    Alfreda | Johnsons House of Love

    That cauliflower mash! Those meatballs! It all looks so delicious.

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