1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin
2 handfuls of grated cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 egg, beaten
A couple of handfuls of Italian-style bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef stock or broth
1 cup tomato sauce
1 head of radicchio, leaves separated
1 pound frozen gnocchi (potato dumplings)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the gnocchi.
Mix the beef with the cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of EVOO.
Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of EVOO and the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the wine and stock and bring to a bubble. Add the tomato sauce. Return the sauce to a bubble and reduce the heat to medium low.
Form about 20 large meatballs, slightly oval in shape, and wrap in the radicchio leaves. Set them into the hot sauce in an even layer. Spoon a little of the sauce over the tops. Cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and salt the water to season it. Cook until the gnocchi are tender and floating, 5 to 6 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain well.
Arrange 5 wrapped meatballs on each plate. Spoon a touch of sauce over each. Add the gnocchi to the remaining sauce in the skillet. Coat the gnocchi in the remaining sauce and season with a little grated cheese, salt, and pepper, then serve alongside the meatballs in red lettuce wraps.
Again, I made this recipe at my sister-in-law's house. It was not too hard to make, but the radicchio was quite bitter, and the dumplings were a little mushy. I think they're supposed to be that way, but I'm just not used to them. They were cold by the time we ate them, so I don't think that helped either. Tomorrow we are going to the beach and then out to eat for oysters, so I will skip a recipe. I also skipped one on our travel day, so coming up there will be two recipes I didn't make.
About this recipe, Rachael Ray says: "I had these mini versions of stuffed cabbage, meatballs in radicchio, in Rome, near the Spanish Steps at Enotec'Antica (Ancient Wine Bar), which is a real haunt of mine when in the city. This is a total guess at their recipe, but it's really tasty - try it, soon! It's closer to you tonight than Rome is, I bet!"