1 This is the September issue of our Everyday Food magazine. There are many great recipes and menu ideas, whether you're cooking for one or for a family.
2 For the meatballs in the Big Batch Recipes, you start with 1-3/4 pounds ground pork.
3 Shred 1 medium zucchini, and squeeze out the moisture.
4 Shred 1/2 of a large onion and also squeeze out the liquid.
5 And for a healthy twist, instead of using bread crumbs as a binding agent, this recipes calls for 3/4-cup bulgur. Bulgur, a Middle Eastern staple grain is high in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories.
6 Two eggs are added, which also helps to hold the meatball mix together.
7 Seasonings include 1/4-cup of chopped oregano, 1-1/2 cloves of minced garlic, coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper.
8 I explained to Matt that instead of pork, you can also use beef; or beef and pork; or beef, veal, and pork.
9 I told Matt that he should really be using his hands to combine the ingredients so that they get thoroughly incorporated into the meat.
10 He confessed that he had been shaking hands and that his hands probably weren't clean. Mine were, so I did the job.
11 After forming the meatballs - about 24 - you brown them in 1-cup of hot vegetable oil in a heavy pot for 5 to 7-minutes, turning occasionally. Drain them on paper towels, discard the oil, and wipe out the pot.
12 I happened to have a batch already browned.
13 Don't they look mouth-watering good?
14 Matt certainly thought so and grabbed one off the plate! I proceeded to explain how to make a wonderful fresh tomato sauce.
15 You simply sauté the remaining chopped half-onion and 2-1/2 minced cloves of garlic in a bit of olive oil. When tender, add 4-pounds seeded chopped tomatoes, 1/2-cup chopped oregano, and the meatballs.
16 Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and are cooked down. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water following package instructions.
17 Drain the al dente pasta and top with some of the tomato sauce.
18 Add a couple of meatballs to each plate. Transfer the remaining 10 to 12 meatballs and 1-cup of sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days so you can transform them into a new meal.
19 Using the leftovers, you can make a meatball pizza using naan or pitas, topping them with the sauce, crumbled meatballs, and fresh mozzarella. Bake at 400º until the cheese is melted.
20 Top with some lemon-tossed arugula, grated Parmesan, and red-pepper flakes. YUM!!!
21 Or, perhaps you'd prefer to make meatball pita sandwiches. Add 2-tsps hot sauce, 1-1/4-tsps cumin, and 3/4-tsps cinnamon to the reserved tomato sauce. Also combine 1/2-cup Greek yogurt with 2-Tbsp chopped mint.
22 I showed Al how to fill the pita halves with Boston lettuce, halved or quartered meatballs, and thinly sliced red onion. Top with the tomato and yogurt sauces and serve.
23 How colorful, fresh, and delicious, with an authentic Middle Eastern flair!
24 If by chance, you have any meatballs left, sliders, those little burgers, have become very popular in recent years. Generously brush little potato rolls with your favorite barbecue sauce and place a meatball in between.
26 Tamron Hall thought so too!
27 Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, me, Tamron Hall, and Matt Lauer
28 Posing with Leslie Orlandini, a food stylist