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Vermont Meets Italy: Maple Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a February tradition at our house.

It's a romantic dish - think Valentine's Day and Lady and the Tramp. It's a fun dish - think Super Bowl party and meatball subs. It's a hearty dish - think subzero weather in the depths of winter in Vermont....



1 1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup milk

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup JEM maple syrup

3 cups tomato sauce, homemade (we go all out and do a slow cook, Sunday gravy for this but store-bought works just fine)

Salt and fresh ground pepper


In a large bowl, combine meat, shallots, eggs, cheese, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Add and blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Gradually (and slowly) incorporate milk. Your mixture should be very moist but still hold a ball shape.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm oil and sear meatballs a few minutes.

Add in maple syrup and cook about 3 minutes longer. Remove skillet from heat.

In a saucepan, bring tomato sauce to a boil. Add in meatballs, cover and let simmer about 25 minutes. Serve on a bed of pasta or some truly excellent ciabatta (see picture for mouthwatering inspiration).

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