If you liked the crispy smashed potatoes I posted on Monday, you won't want to miss the main dish I served with them: Swedish meatballs! I have to admit, I've actually never had the famous Swedish meatballs from Ikea, mostly because I am always too tempted by their mac and cheese! So, I can't say for sure how these compare - but I can definitely say they are really delicious. These meatballs get a shortcut by starting with Italian sausage, so they're pre-spiced. Just add breadcrumbs, milk, and a little bonus nutmeg to get great meatball flavor. Most of the effort in this recipe is rolling the meatballs, so grab a partner if you've got someone that can help. After the meatballs are rolled, they're simply browned and combined with a simple pan gravy. My sauce never really thickened like it was supposed to, but it was still totally creamy and delicious - next time, I might splurge on some creme fraiche for a fancier sauce, but sour cream totally got the job done.
I served these tasty meatballs over fresh pasta. I've been participating in a political forecasting project for the past year or so, and I used my 'honorarium' from the first year to snag a pricey item I've been wanting for a long time - the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid! I've had a manual pasta machine in the past, but it was ultimately just too much work and I didn't like using it. The Kitchen Aid version is awesome - it definitely made making fresh pasta a lot more fun. Still a weekend activity, but one I can look forward to rather than dreading! And the pasta turned out perfectly - score! I'll definitely be making this again soon.
Swedish Meatballs with Fresh Egg Noodles (adapted from French Revolution, original recipe here)
For the pasta:
4 large eggs
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 T water, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp salt
For the meatballs:
2 pounds bulk mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, divided
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup sour cream
Chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve
1. Make the pasta. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the paddle for about 30 seconds, and then switch to the dough hook and mix on low speed for a few minutes, adding more water as needed, until the dough pulls together in clumps. Knead by hand for a minute or so to create a cohesive ball of dough. Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
2. After the dough has rested, divide into four pieces and roll out in a pasta machine following the instructions for your pasta machine. Cut into desired shape (I made fettuccine). Let dry over the backs of towel-covered chairs while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
3. Make the meatballs. In a large bowl, gently mix together the sausage, panko, milk, and half the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into smallish meatballs.
4. Heat olive oil in two wide non-stick skillets - use enough to just cover the bottoms of the skillets. Brown the meatballs on all sides, and then add 1 cup beef broth to each skillet. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer until the broth just coats the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, put a big pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
5. Combine the meatballs and sauce into one skillet (assuming it fits - if not, you can keep them separated). Add the remaining nutmeg and the sour cream. Stir briskly to combine the sauce - mine stayed a little separated, but was still tasty.
6. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for about 2 minutes, and then drain.
7. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the fresh pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.