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Author Notes: Don't mistake this recipe by its title as some meat-head, body builder's food fantasy. It is anything but that. Though it is packed full of lean red meat and fiber filled quinoa for a bodily powerhouse effect, the delicate combination of sauteed vidalia onions, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, topped off with a large dash of chipotle make this recipe fit for the daintiest of chefs. Recommend serving this dish with a bottle of Malbec or Zinfandel if you are feeling bold. —zazafrasca
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Vidalia Onion, minced
- 1 Carrot, minced
- 3/4 cup Cooked Quinoa
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 3/4 cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes (in-oil or not - your choice)
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely sliced into ribbons
- 1/2 Dried Chipotle Pepper, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground buffalo
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/3 cup Ketchup (or tomato paste)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded smoked provolone
- Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Marinara Sauce of your preference (we prefer a thin simple sauce as the meatballs pack a punch)
- 1 pound Pasta
- finely grated Pecerino
- Heat Olive Oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions until fragrant. Add carrots and saute until soft.
- While onion mixture is cooking, soak the cooked quinoa in the red wine in a small bowl.
- Add mushrooms to medium-hot pan with onion mixture and continue to cook until all the water has been released from them. Then quickly add the sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, turning up heat to high. Stir constantly until balsamic vinegar is nearly cooked down.
- Turn pan to low. Add quinoa/wine mixture, basil, and chipotle, stirring until well combined. Salt and pepper mixture to taste and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl add cooled onion/quinoa mixture, meats, ketchup, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, oregano. Mix gently with your hands until well combined. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour.
- Remove mix from fridge and mold into balls. (The size of the meatballs is completely your preference - we prefer to make them smaller when we are serving them with a long/thin pasta or large when serving with a shaped pasta.)
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. (The meats used here are lean so some oil is necessary for non-stick and flavor purposes.)
- Brown meatballs in batches (without crowding), turning frequently, about 5-7 minutes per batch, depending on the size of your balls.
- Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and heat your preferred Marinara sauce. Cook pasta until al dente.
- Add cooked meatballs to marinara sauce and simmer for several minutes.
- Serve pasta in bowls, ladling sauce and meatballs over it, sprinkled with cheese.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs