SOS: need sides inspiration for tonight 3/7
I am having some friends over for dinner tonight and want to make Mario Batali's Veal and Ricotta Meatbals in Milk. These are very light meatballs with chopped pistachios and cornichons in them, simmered in chicken stock and milk, which forms a very light, broken sauce. He makes no suggestion of what to serve with them, I think because in Italy they would be served alone as a separate course. I would like to serve them American-style with a couple of sides but am stumped. Ideas?
Fennal salad? Just thinnly slice fennel, dress with lemon and olive oil and some good salt and freshly ground pepper.
I think the fennel salad sounds really lovely.
I would add maybe some really mild simple roasted veg, like endive and maybe leeks that would love a swipe through the sauce on one's plate. If you wanted to be a bit more american and add a starch to the plate you could even do a small portion of really simple pasta w/ butter, parsley and parm.
It is yummy. Here it is, ingredients as published [with my mods in brackets], directions paraphrased.
Mario Batali's Meatballs with Ricotta and Milk (Polpette con Ricotta)
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground veal
8 ounces ricotta, preferably fresh
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly-grated parmiggiano-reggiano
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
6 cornichons, chopped [I use 8 or 9]
3 pistachio nuts, chopped [seems like a typo, I use 2 heaping tablespoons and toast them]
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock, or more if necessary [this is exponentially better with rich homemade stock but still worth making with storebought]
1/2 cup whole milk [I use more]
salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix first 8 ingredients well, adding about 1/2 tsp salt. Chill if at all possible to help meatball formation. Form into 1 inch meatballs.
Melt butter in heavy pan and brown meatballs in batches. When they are all brown, put them together in pan and add stock and milk to nearly submerge meatballs. Simmer covered about 15 or 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.