Sous Vide Italian Meatballs

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I grew up in a cooking family and after getting a degree in Spanish and Anthropology, realized what I really wanted to do was to go to culinary school. After working in a NYC bank for a few years, I managed to get to culinary school and got my first jobs in NYC kitchens ...

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Recipe Temp 140 F / 60 C
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This recipe is truly a family recipe - one that my mom used to make. She once learned this from my Italian Nana, so rest assured: it's as authentic as it gets. Meatballs were a bonus on spaghetti nights, which sometimes only had tomato sauce with browned ground beef stirred in. We all preferred the meatballs and we still do. Notes: + Be gentle creating the vacuum seal, as the pressure will impact the shape of the meatballs. + The finishing step is optional. I tested half the meatballs straight out of the bags and into the sauce and browned the other half in a bit of oil in a non-stick skillet. Since they all went into the sauce at the end, my lazy self wants to skip the browning step. If you think you would miss that bit of texture and the flavor that comes from the browning, it just takes another five minutes — easy enough to do while the pasta cooks.
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Ingredients for 4

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 slice white bread, broken into fine crumbs

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

  • ¼ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for browning, optional

  • 1 pound pasta (your own favorite)

  • Tomato sauce (your own favorite), for serving

Directions

  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 140ºF (60ºC).

  • Step 2

    Combine ground beef, bread, milk, Parmesan, dried bread crumbs, egg, parsley, garlic, and oregano in bowl. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

  • Step 3

    Shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Place 4 meatballs in each of 4 quart-size zipper lock bags. Seal using the water immersion technique. (Don’t let meatballs stack; keep them in single layer.)

  • Step 4

    Place the bags in the water bath and set the timer for 1 1/2 hours.

  • Step 5

    About 10 minutes before meatballs are done, heat water for the pasta in a large pot over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions.

  • Step 6

    While the pasta is cooking, heat your favorite pasta sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat.

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 1

      When the timer goes off, remove the bags from the water bath. Remove the meatballs from the bags.

    • Step 2

      To sear, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the meatballs and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes.

    • Step 3

      Add seared meatballs (or meatballs directly from the bag) to the heated sauce. Stir to coat.

    • Step 4

      Serve the meatballs in the sauce on top of plated pasta. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

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140 F / 60 C Recipe Temp
Recipe Time
Prep Time