It can be made in advance and served days later by reheating the cooked meatballs in a baking tray in the oven covered in foil. The grated zucchini keeps the moisture in the meatball – try using it in other recipes for the same effect.
Makes 38 meatballs
150 g (51/2 oz) frozen baby peas
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) minced (ground) beef
2 small zucchini (courgettes), grated
125 g (41/2 oz/11/4 cups) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 white onion, finely diced
30 g (1 oz/1 small bunch) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked and chopped
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk
vegetable oil, for frying
olive oil spray, for baking
1 Cook the peas in lightly salted boiling water in a saucepan over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the peas are cooked and tender. Then place them into an ice bath to stop them cooking.
2 In a large mixing bowl, season the beef with salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine the beef with all the remaining ingredients (including the chilled peas). Roll the mixture into 50 g (1³/₄ oz) balls and place on a tray. Set the balls aside to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
4 Pour some vegetable oil into a deep frying pan until it’s approximately 1–3 cm (1/₂–11/₄ in) deep, and place over medium–high heat. Introduce the meatballs a few at a time. They should start to sizzle on contact. Cook the meatballs on one side for around 3–4 minutes before rolling them over to the other side to cook for another 3–4 minutes. This will form a nice brown crust around the entire meatball.
5 Remove the meatballs from the oil and strain on paper towel. Spray a baking tray with olive oil and carefully place the meatballs in the tray. Bake in the dry oven for 8 minutes.
6 Serve immediately.
Recipes and images from Meatballs: The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno (Murdoch Books) $35 available now.