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Meatballs and Gravy

Ahh...the fraternal twins of Italian cooking, the product of an entire day’s worth of pot babysitting.  No way, not these babies, they go from a glimmer in your eye to legit dinner in under 15 minutes!

Just under 15 minutes
1 Hot-tip
Devoting an entire day to hand rolling perfectly round meatballs and building layers upon layers of robust flavor in a gravy sounds just lovely. You may pour a glass of wine, put on some music, and float around your kitchen in a euphoric state of culinary delight. Reality check, that’s adorable, but you don’t have time. It's a weeknight, traffic sucked, one kid is screaming, the dog is hungry, another kid is crying, spouse is working late, both kids are dirty, and you’re out of wine. There is still hope for this type of night, and success is in the hands of these meatballs, and maybe see if your neighbor has wine.


ground beef (we used 80/20)
1 pound
ricotta cheese
5 ounces
garlic powder
2 tablespoons
can cherry tomatoes
1-14 ounce can
garlic cloves
1 bunch (stems included)
parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup


olive oil

totally optional

dried chilies (added to the kale)
anchovy (minced, added to the kale)


Meat ballin’
Place a large pan over med-high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Grab your ground beef and dump it into a large bowl. To the bowl, add ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix with your hands to combine. Form into balls, about ping-pong sized, add them to your pan, and allow them to brown.
Gravy time
Grab 3 of your garlic cloves, bust them open with something heavy. Peel them and toss them into the pan, no need to chop it up. Flip your meatballs real quick. Next, add the tomatoes to the pan and let the meatballs cook in the tomatoes, making the gravy.
Kale time
Grab another large pan, place it over med-high heat, and drizzle with olive oil. Grab your kale and use your knife to shave it down, stems and all. Add the stems to your hot pan. Next, toss the remaining garlic cloves into your mortar and pestle (paper too), bust them up, and add them to the kale. If you’re adding chilies or anchovy, add them to the kale as well. Add the remaining kale leaves and hit the pan with some water to help steam the veg and break it down faster. Season with salt. Cover with a lid and let cook a few more minutes.
Wrap it up
Check a meatball for doneness. Grab a plate! Heap a pile of kale in the center of your plate (avoid the garlic paper when plating). Top with meatballs and ladle with gravy. Grate some parm over the top and serve!
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