"Don't think I have the pretension to teach you how to make the meatballs." So Pellegrino Artusi said in his famous cookbook. Even the father of Italian gastronomy knew he could not say anything new or original about this dish. On that page of his recipe book he therefore limited himself to repeat what all housewives already knew: to season the minced meat with Parmesan, salt, pepper and a smell of spices.
However, many who have consulted what is rightly considered the bible of Italian cuisine have wondered what are the ingredients of this smell of spices that he suggests. In fact this seems almost like a secret. Perhaps Artusi thought that whoever stayed at the stove already knew which smells to use for frying in oil or lard.
If you also want to try cooking meatballs at home but have doubts about the type of seasoning to use for the meat mixture, we suggest you the following mix:
- marjoram or oregano.
Coriander has a sweet taste with a hint of lemon and is particularly suitable for fried meat. The choice between marjoram and oregano depends on the scent you want to give to the meatballs: sweet and spicy in the case of marjoram, fresh and pungent in that of oregano.
If you want to add a spicy note we suggest you also a pinch of paprika.
Preparing at home the spicy sausages, the pride of Italian gastronomy
Sausages are one of the gastronomic excellences of Italian cuisine. In the past they were a poor dish created to preserve meat for a long time. Today many of these specialties have earned the label of DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, Protected Designation of Origin) and are appreciated by gourmets from all over the world. In 2023 the Lombard luganega was awarded by the British food portal Tasteatlas as one of the fifty best sausages in the world. An exceptional result considering the tens of thousands of types of sausages produced all over the planet.
In Italy alone there will be thousands of sausages because in each region each municipality has created a typical product with a unique recipe as part of its own culinary traditions. The differences are in the cut of meat selected, the processing, the duration of the seasoning and of course the type of spices used. You could create your own typical sausage in your kitchen too.
In fact making sausages at home is simple, more than you might think. Housewives have prepared them for generations not only in farms in the countryside but also in the city by mincing and stuffing the meat by hand. Today this job is much easier thanks to food processors. Each multifunction robot has a meat grinder to finely or coarsely grind the cuts of meat you decide to use. The accessories also include a tube for bagging the dough comfortably. If it is not present in the original packaging, you can order it online. The casings, on the other hand, can be bought or ordered at any butcher's shop. He will deliver them to you already washed and ready for use.
The spices you will use to flavor your homemade sausages depend on your personal tastes. Those who love strong sensations such as those offered by 'Nduja, the Calabrian spreadable sausage, will choose chilli pepper. But don't overdo it!
If, on the other hand, you appreciate the delicate taste with a sweet nuance like that of the Lucanian sausage we suggest a mixture of wild fennel, anise and powder of sweet pepper.
Finally, for a truly original flavor, try mixing a mix of sea salt and juniper berries with the pig meat. It will give your sausage a slightly spicy and pleasantly bitter taste.
Spices and aromatic herbs: natural ingredients of the kitchen
Millennia ago one of our ancestors had the idea of adding a pinch of salt to the meat that he was cooking. He couldn't imagine it but with this simple gesture he created the first recipe in human history. Over time experience and instinct have made it possible to distinguish those edible plants capable of giving a magical touch to the preparation of any food. Onion, garlic, parsley and rosemary were found in the fields and cultivated in the gardens. The discovery in Asia of spices such as pepper, cumin and nutmeg made the wealth of merchants and maritime powers.
We at Europrodotti offer you a vast choice and quality of solutions with natural ingredients to enrich the taste of each recipe. We are specialized in the preparation of flavorings and functional ingredients to characterize the flavours, aromatic preparations designed to enhance the quality of any of your minced meat-based products. Numerous recipes that are an excellent synthesis between ancient flavors and new flavourings, respecting the taste and aroma of traditions.