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Giorgio's Meatballs

Giorgio's Meatballs

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This meatball recipe comes from Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen, and it was passed down from his father, who taught him how to make them at a very young age. When Ferraro makes meatballs, he soaks his breadcrumbs in a stock instead of milk.

Click here to read How to Make a Better Meatball


  • 5 Pounds ground beef
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 eggs
  • 20 Cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 bunch of parsley
  • 1/4 bunch of basil
  • 1/2 Cup stock
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Chicken Meatballs from the Roman Jewish Cuisine – Gozzaroddi

I was watching a TV programme about Roman Jewish cuisine back in Spring conducted by Gambero Rosso chef Laura Ravaioli and was intruigued by one recipe for meatballs, called ‘gozzaroddi’ (and other versions of this name) or ‘polpette col sedano’, i.e. meatballs with celery. I jotted down some notes as I watched this particular episode of Ravaioli’s series on Roman Jewish Cuisine and here I am writing about it. The interesting thing was the mixture of chicken and veal for these meatballs – I had never heard of that before. And also, the addition of a little bit of cinnamon which instead is not so unusual in meat stews in Italian cuisine (I myself add a little bit of cinnamon to my oxtail stew, coda alla vaccinara).

INGREDIENTS: 1kg of minced meat (750g of chicken and 250g of veal): the proportion is 3 parts chicken to 1 part veal 1 egg, cinnamon, 5 tablespoons Italian type breadcrumbs, plenty of celery, plum tomatoes or passata, salt and pepper

Here are the breadcrumbs … you can use stale bread instead if you prefer.
Add enough water to make the breadcrumbs go ‘soggy’ and set aside. Put some water on the boil … Clean a few sticks of celery (let’s say 4?) and trim them of their fibrous exterior. Slice the celery into ‘sticks’. Divide the sticks into two sets – you will need to blanch them in simmering water, one set at a time. Add some salt to the boiling water and ease the first set of celery sticks in. Let them simmer for about one minute.

Use a slotted spoon or whatever to drain the celery and place immediately in a bowl with ice-cold water in it. Set aside. Repeat the procedure with the other set of celery sticks. Do not throw the water away, it will come in handy later on.Once cooled, chop the second set of celery sticks into cubes. Set aside. Place the minced meat, the egg and a good pinch of cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Add the sodden breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper. Find a nice casserole … dribble in plenty of olive oil. Add a few peppercorns (that’s my addition, I simply love peppercorns). Turn on the heat.
Now add the cubed celery and let it cook for about two minutes – no need to ‘brown’ this celery. Now add the passata and another pinch of salt and one of sugar. At this point, while that sauce is simmering away, we can get on with preparing the meatballs. As I write about the recipe months later, I realise that it could be done the other way around: i.e. prepare the meatballs first, and then the sauce. Whatever. Keep some nice fresh celery leaves for the final touch. The meat has to be very firm to the touch. The mixture needs to be shaped in an elongated sort of way – more meat-‘plums’ than meatballs ! Place the meatballs inside the casserole.
Add a little of the water the celery got cooked in so that the meatballs are completely covered in the cooking liquid. Shake the casserole so that the meatballs aren’t on top of one another. Cover and cook with the lid on for about 15 minutes … Remove the lid, and add a handful of fresh celery leaves as well as the previously simmered celery sticks …
And cook for another 15 minutes or so. Very ‘different’ … very fresh (on account of the celery) and with that lovely hint of cinnamon. Definitely worth making again.

Made At Home – by Giorgio Locatelli

Giorgio Locatelli is the chef/owner of Locanda Locatelli in England. I was contacted by his publisher recently asking if I’d like a review copy of his book. Since I have enjoyed two of his earlier books, and I have a vast collection of Italian cookbooks, I was pleased to accept a copy. Though he now lives primarily in London, chef Locatelli grew up in Lombardy and has a second home in one of my favorite regions, Puglia. The recipes in this cookbook reflect his knowledge of regional Italian cooking and is packed with 150 recipes.

As is described in the book, the recipes in this latest books are the kind of recipes you would cook in your own kitchen. They are simple, rustic recipes that are easily tackled by even the novice cook, but are delicious and varied enough to please the more experienced cook.

The book is broken down into the usual categories to take you through the entire day, and most recipes are accompanied by gorgeous color photos. Studded throughout the book are groupings of four recipes over two pages featuring a single ingredient with photos. For example, for Aubergines (Eggplant) the group of four includes Char-grilled & Marinated Eggplant, Caviar, Parmigiana, and Pickled.

Made At Home Categories

Seasonal Salads and Vegetables,
Simple Soups
Panini, Crostini, Pies and Other Snacks
Pasta, Rice & Pizza
Favorite Fish & Seafood
Grilled Meats, Roasts & Stews
Cakes, Treats & Ice Cream

This cookbook includes many typical recipes that one would expect to find in any Italian cookbook such as Eggplant Parmesan, Pappa Pomodoro, Cherry Tomato Focaccia, & Roast Chicken, but also has a variety of unique recipes that combine regional ingredients in ways you do not often see. A couple of recipes I have tried from this cookbook that I thoroughly enjoyed include Pasta Fagioli With Mussels, and Gnocchi With Taleggio, Radicchio, and Walnuts. Both recipes included a mix of ingredients that I wouldn’t have thought to put together myself, but the final results were absolutely delicious. I am looking forward to trying many more recipes in this book!

I recommend Made at Home for anyone looking to buy an Italian cookbook packed with recipes that celebrate Italian seasonal ingredients for the home cook to enjoy. Although a few of the listed elements may not be accessible to everyone, there are natural substitutions you can make to create dishes that will impress family and guests alike. If you want to read more about this cookbook or wish to purchase it, just click on the links below.

Made at Home by Giorgio Locatelli
4th Estate Publishers
Published 2017

Greek Easter Recipes from Giorgios Bakatsias

Restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias of Bin 54 in Chapel Hill, Parizade and Vin Rouge in Durham, and Rosewater in Raleigh shares some of his favorite spring recipes.
recipes by Giorgios Bakatsias | photography by Eamon Queeney

At home, Giorgios Bakatsias cooks simple, vegetable-forward meals driven by what he finds in the garden. But when it’s time for a party, abundance abounds. “We put big lambs on the spit, we open the garden, we bathe in the aromas of rosemary and thyme and oregano,” he says. For this meal, he roasted a leg of lamb in the oven, then accompanied it with a mix of traditional Greek sides. “It’s a great joy, when we have the pleasure of having someone over,” says Bakatsias. “It’s a great gift.” Here are the recipes he shared.

Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb

Serves 6-8 people
1 bone-in 3.5-4 pound leg of lamb 2 cups dry red wine
Head of garlic
Salt and pepper generously
2 sprigs chopped rosemary 2 sprigs of thyme
1⁄2 cup of olive oil

Massage leg of lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper. Incorporate spices and herbs into marinade of red wine and smashed garlic. Bathe and marinate the lamb in the mixture overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In roasting pan, add 1⁄2 cup of water and marinated leg of lamb with all remaining marinade mixture and cover completely. Place covered roast in oven, cooking for 4 hours. Note: If the leg of lamb is bigger, add 30 minutes to the cooking time.


Serves 4 people
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives
4 ounces feta cheese
Pinch of mountain oregano Chopped fresh parsley
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes into wedges. Season cucumbers with salt and pepper to taste. Combine all vegetables and olives in mixing bowl, coating evenly in olive oil and lemon juice. Add two thick slices of feta and sprinkle with oregano and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy.


Serves 8
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 pound ready-made phyllo, size 4 thickness
2 1⁄2 pounds spinach, stalks removed, chopped 1 cup finely chopped scallions
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 pound feta
3-4 eggs lightly beaten
4 tablespoons clarified butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush a 14-inch baking pan with oil. Sprinkle the spinach with a little salt and rub with your fingers. Rinse, drain and squeeze excess water. Combine the spinach, scallions, dill, parsley, cheese and eggs in a bowl and season with pepper.

Lay a quarter of the phyllo sheets in the prepared pan, one on top of the other, brushing each with butter. Spread 1/3 of the spinach filling evenly on top and cover with the another 1⁄4 of the phyllo sheets. Repeat for 3 layers. Put remaining 1⁄4 of phyllo sheets on top. Roll up the overhanging phyllo neatly around the pan. Score into 12 serving pieces, and brush the top with oil. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.


Makes 2.5 cups
1 cup cucumber- peeled, seeded and shredded
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon- juiced
Salt and pepper
3 cups strained Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic- minced
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Shred cucumber and strain with cheese cloth. In a mixing bowl add shredded cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper to taste. Fold in strained yogurt, mixing thoroughly all ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours prior to enjoying to allow it to properly set. Serve with spears of cucumbers, carrots or pita bread.


Serves 4-6 people
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced 3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fine oregano
1 tablespoon dill (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss all thinly sliced vegetables in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. In a casserole dish, layer the seasoned vegetables, in order from bottom to top: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, zucchini. Spread all remaining olive oil mixture in mixing bowl evenly on top of layered casserole. Bake for 40 minutes, covered for the first 20 minutes, then uncovered
for the remaining time, until golden brown.


Serves 4
2/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, grated
1 pound ground beef
1 soup spoon of tomato paste
Pinch of cinnamon
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 1 egg white lightly beaten
1 cup grated kefalotyri
11 ounces tubular pasta
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups grated gruyère
3 egg yolks beaten
3 cups béchamel (recipe below)
Pinch of grated nutmeg

Heat 1⁄2 cup of the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until softened. Increase the heat to medium, add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with the spatula for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Fold in the egg white and a 1⁄2 cup of the kefalotyri and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, stir in salt and remaining oil, add the pasta and cook for 8-10 mins or until al dente. Drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a 10 x 14-inch cazuela or casserole dish. Stir the gruyère cheese into the drained and cooled pasta. Mix together pasta mixture with seasoned ground beef. Pour mixed pasta and beef into lightly oiled oven-proof cazuela or casserole dish. Fold in the egg yolks and remaining kefalotyri into the béchamel sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the bécha- mel sauce over the pasta/beef mixture. Bake for 1 hour or until top is golden brown. Let dish stand for 15 minutes prior to serving.

Béchamel Sauce

makes 1 cup
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup of kefalotyri
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and white pepper

Pour milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan, whisk in flour, stirring fervently for one minute. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in hot milk, whisking constantly until mixture is even and smooth. Return sauce to medium heat and simmer, pour in kefalotyri cheese stirring constantly for about 12-15 minutes until mixture thickens. Season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper.

Spiced Kalamata Olives

2 cups pit-in kalamata olives
Large spoon zest of orange
Large spoon zest of lemon
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
Teaspoon fine oregano
Teaspoon red chili flakes
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

Toss all ingredients together and let marinate for 3 hours. Serve and enjoy.


Serves 4-6 as prepared in 14” round cazuela
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion-diced
1 medium Yukon gold potato-sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup of goat cheese
½ cup kefalotyri or parmesan
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
½ cup heavy cream
1 large soup spoon tomato paste
Kosher sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of clove
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic – minced

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let drain in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse, squeeze excess water and pat dry. Heat half the oil in a skillet or frying pan. Add the eggplants and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 6-8 mins or until lightly browned on both sides. Slice the potatoes thin, season with salt and pepper, and cook similarly to eggplant. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins until translucent. Increase the heat to medium, add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with the spatula until browned. Add the tomato paste, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Blending all together until coated evenly. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take 14” cazuela and coat with olive oil. Layer potatoes evenly to cover bottom of cazuela. Add a layer of eggplant over potatoes. Add seasoned ground beef over layered eggplant. Sprinkle kefalotyri over ground meat and repeat with layer of eggplant and additional layer of seasoned beef.

For goat cheese cream souffle: Whisk 3 egg yolks and slowly add heavy cream. Whisk goat cheese and remaining kefalotyri into egg/cream mixture and pour over top of seasoned beef in cazuela. Bake for 50 mins at 400 degrees. Finish with chopped parsley.

Chef Giorgios Bakatsias cooks a traditional Greek Easter meal at his home in Bahama, NC, Tuesday, February 25, 2020. Bakatsias is a prolific restauranteur. Starting his first restaurant in his early 20s, Giorgios is behind some of the Triangle’s favorite eateries. (Eamon Queeney for Walter)

Red Eggs

Makes 12
1 dozen eggs
5 cups water
12 yellow onions, skins removed and reserved
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Olive oil

Combine water, onion skins, and vinegar in a pot bring to a boil. Set aside onions for another use. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure skins are submerged, for 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat, remove cover, and cool dye to room temperature. Remove skins from dye and discard. Place eggs in the dye and bring to a boil cook for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and leave eggs in the dye until a deep red color is reached, about 30 minutes more.

Chilli Con Carne Recipe with San Giorgio's Beef Mince

1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)

400g can chopped tomatoes

410g can red kidney beans

plain boiled long grain rice, to serve

Prepare your vegetables. Chop 1 large onion into small dice, about 5mm square. Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, squidgy and slightly translucent. Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Brown the 500g lean minced beef. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up. Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Making the sauce. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Open 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g can) and add these as well. Tip in ½ tsp dried marjoram and 1 tsp sugar and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Add in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

Bring on the beans. Drain and rinse 1 can of red kidney beans (410g can) in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Leaving the chilli to blend is really important as it allows the flavors to mingle.

Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

About us

Giorgio’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant. Dimitri and Elleni Tzortzis, both third-generation restaurant owners, established Giorgio’s in 1991. Dimitri’s family has owned restaurants in Chicago, Nashville and Chattanooga. Elleni’s family has owned restaurants in Georgia since 1956.

Our son Constantine became an invaluable partner of the business along the way and has contributed a fresh perspective to the business.

We offer a wide variety of foods ranging from Mediterranean to American, with generous portions that are reasonably priced. All the recipes have been passed down through the families for generations.

Our main goal is to serve the highest quality food in a pleasant atmosphere to our customers’ satisfaction. We are proud to say that we have customers and staff that have been with us from the beginning and hope that you will soon join us for lunch or dinner. We truly appreciate your business and consider it our honor to serve you.

Soft Italian Meatballs

Want to know the secret to making soft, delicious meatballs? Try this recipe for Italian-style meatballs that turns out perfect every time.

How To Make Meatballs "polpette": Original Recipes from Apulia, Italy

Giorgio and Michael, will teach you how to make meatballs. An Italian recipe from Apulia, Italy. The originally recipe has been taught from their Italian grandmother Nonna Pina.
Meatballs, are an Italian specialty that is made of ground meat that is shaped into a ball. In Italian meatballs are called polpettes and are typically made from beef or veal and contain ingredients such as garlic, eggs, parsley and in some cases cheese such as Parmigiana.
These meatballs are a fun idea to share with family or friends: a recipe that will win everyone over, including the little ones.

ground beef
pecorino or parmesan cheese cheese
breadcrumbs q.b.
2 cans crashed tomatoes tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 clove of onion
1 bunch parsley
extra virgin olive oil q.b.
salt q.b.
pepper q.b.
2 eggs

To prepare the meatballs with sauce take a bowl and knead the ground meat about three to five tablespoons of breadcrumbs, egg, chopped parsley, salt and pepper ( optional: you can add garlic and parmesan cheese if you want). Try to make balls as round as possible, compact and uniform meatballs.

Put to fry with a bottom of oil, a chopped onions and garlic, then add the meatballs and cook them, adding a little water, taking care that they are colored from all sides. Add the tomatoes to the meatballs with salt and pepper. Cover the container, after about 20, 30 minutes the meatballs will be ready, soft and tasty.

Bushwick Tarentella Loop by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

R.I.P. Giorgio's of Chicago

'tis a sad day. My favorite SoCal restaurant, Giorgio's of Chicago in Laguna Niguel, apparently has closed its doors as of the end of last month. When I first discovered it, I was so impressed that I wrote the LA Times and suggested they do a review of the place -- and sure wnough last September they did!

There have been lots of Chicago places around SoCal, some with good food, some with a good atmoshpere and decor, but none to match the food quality and owner friendliness of this family-run place. Giorgio's had the real deal -- Italian Beef and sausage sandwiches that were as good as anything from Chicago, authentic Chicago hot dogs, great BBQ ribs, Old Style beer, Jay's potato chips and Eli's cheesecake (for long-suffering Chicagoans), and quite frankly, the best thin crust pizza I have had in 15 years of living in SoCal, from the SFV to the South Bay to Orange County.

Alas, I can only imagine that Creig and his family were financial victims, not being able to survive in a market dominated by chain places. All I can say is, support your local favorite places before they too get swallowed up.

First, I lost Cafe Teresa in FOuntain Valley, home of the best Cinnamon Rolls ever. Then Red Oak BBQ, with Tri-tip that was better than what I could even get in Santa Maria. And now Giorgio's. If anyone tries to shut down Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse or Tulsa Rib Company, they'll need to come through me to get to 'em!

Giorgio's was the only restaurant I felt I ever developed a relationship with. that the workers knew me and my family as I knew many of them. It's a shame to lose places like that.

Watch the video: VEGGIE BALLS VEGETABLE BALLS - Italian recipe (August 2022).