Tag Archives: meatballs


Since I have been cooking regional Italian food  professionally for quite some time, the dreaded request from guests…“why don’t you have spaghetti and meatballs on your menu”   inevitably rears its ugly head. It has become a topic of “conversation” at almost every Italian restaurant that either I have had the pleasure of being the Executive Chef or I have owned.  Don’t get me wrong..I love Spaghetti and Meatballs, my Irish mother makes fantastic Spaghetti and Meatballs, and it is something I remember requesting for my birthday when my mom would take requests for Birthday dinners.  However, I never put it on the menu at any restaurant…and this is why: There’s no such thing as Spaghetti and Meatballs in Italy. Never has, never will. When I think of the many outstanding regional specialties of Italy I wonder “why do people feel that it should be on the menu at an Italian restaurant?”

Maybe, sometimes….”Spaghetti just likes to be alone” a line from my favorite movie Big Night so poignantly states.

Then I remember…that going to a restaurant can bring back many memories for people. When we gather around a table, inevitably, the center of attention is the food, and somehow if it all comes together the food can bring us back to a simpler time when we all enjoyed each others company instead of checking how many “likes” you received on your latest Facebook post.  And of course Spaghetti and Meatballs can bring back those memories for many of us. It does for me. I come from a large Italian/Irish family and I vividly remember the smell of the meatballs cooking in olive oil, the hint of garlic simmering and that unique smell of the “macaroni” as my father called it boiling in the salted water.   And really that is what it is all about. It may not be truly Italian…but it is Italian American and for that reason I now put it on some menus.

I however will not serve my meatballs with Spaghetti, I prefer Orecchiette. When portioning the meatballs, make them the size of a ping pong ball, not too big so they don’t dry out.  The recipe I have posted are for meatballs made in the Pugliese style, a lot of fresh herbs, Pecorino cheese and red wine take these meaty orbs to another level.  Enjoy with a bold glass of Negroamaro from Puglia and finish off with some Amaro and then you can create new memories.

To see the full recipe for Pugliese Meatballs, click here!


That's a Spicy meatball Read more

Since I have been cooking regional Italian food  professionally for quite some time, the dreaded request from guests...“why don’t you have spaghetti ...

Snout to Tail

Freshly Ground Meat

Developed as way to utilize scraps of meat that occur as butchers broke down animals in search of the best cuts, ground meat is an essential part of the ‘snout to tail’ philosophy of whole animal butchery. And that philosophy is essential to the Italian culture of meat eating. Why is this relevant you might ask? Because of our new favorite addition to our butcher counter: a meat grinder! And while ground meat sometimes sounds gross, sometimes even looks gross, rest assured, there are a lot of benefits to having freshly ground meat.

For starters–let’s be real. Most the ground meat you have in the ordinary grocery store is, more or less, mystery meat. You won’t find a soul in the meat department of those stores that knows when the meat was ground, let alone what cut of beef it is. And that mystery gets even harder to solve when you move past the ground beef into the ground pork, the veal, and so-on. First and foremost, having our own grinder will mean that all of our meat is as fresh as can be, and the beef we use is the same quality, dry-aged local black angus as our steaks that you’ve come to know and love.

With that quality and freshness in mind, the possibilities become seemingly endless. Looking for the perfect beef to make your famous burgers? We’re happy to grind you whatever you need to order. And for those of you still looking to find your favorite, come try one of our creations! This past weekend we had two special patties: one made with sun-dried tomato paste and one with ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable salami. They were awesome! Now that the weather is getting warmer and grilling season is upon us we are going to have burgers in the case regularly so make sure you stop by to get some.


But burger patties aren’t the only way ground meat can be used! The original way Italians would make use of ground meat, typically pork, was as sausages–which are essentially the same thing as a burger, just stuffed into a casing. Having a meat grinder in the case puts us one step closer to making our own sausages and I couldn’t be more excited. If you ask me, a sausage thrown on the grill, or on the skillet is one of life’s simplest pleasures.

The biggest takeaway from all this is that freshly ground meat is one of the most versatile things you can cook with. Whether you press it into a patty, stuff it into a casing, or cook it up in a pasta sauce, there’s no doubt that it will be delicious. Come visit us–we’re happy to get you whatever you need.


Scott Weiss
Scott Weiss

Possibilities become endless Read more

Developed as way to utilize scraps of meat that occur as butchers broke down animals in search of the best cuts, ground ...

Simone’s Super Bowl Snacks


This Super Bowl Sunday, ditch the store bought salsa for some real food. These recipes from Chef Simone are an Italian twist on some classic favorites to keep you warm, full, and happy (no matter the outcome) this game day.


And why not complete your foodie football day with some beers from Birra Perugia? Stop by our store in Georgetown to get your hands on the most unique imported brews and view the game in style.




Ground chicken meat



Parmigiano cheese



Sundried tomatoes – chopped

Sundried tomatoes –  paste

Materials: Carta Fata Paper, available at Via Umbria

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, setting aside part of the tomatoes.
Lay out the Carta Fata on a table, put the meat in the middle of the paper. Press and spread the chicken out until is about half an inch thick.
Put the rest of tomatoes in the center of the chicken. Wrap the meat well until you have formed a tube.

Close the top and the bottom of the tube with string.
Boil for 20 minutes in hot water. The Carta Fata will not melt because it is magic!
After boiling, slice and serve with fresh salad by the side. Drizzle olive oil over the entire plate and serve!





Beef ground 30% fat

Bread crumbs


Garlic parsley



Parmesan cheese

Egg yolks

Tomato sauce


Chili pepper



Mix the meat with Rosemary and sage, and then the breadcrumbs, egg yolks, and parmesean. Start to make little ball.

In a pan, sauté the garlic and add the tomato sauce. Cook the sauce with salt and hot pepper until it thickens. Add the meat ball and go on to cook for 20 minutes.










Tomato sauce

Chili pepper




Sauté the greens in a pan with the herbs too. When they are fragrant and cooked, add the beans (if using dried beans, they must be hydrated. The day before, put them in a bowl with water, and then boil them for 30 minutes and let stand). Sauté all of the ingredients little more and then add the tomato paste. Heat on low flame, simmering until soup becomes thick. Garnish with sour cream or Italian cheese and serve!


— Via Umbria 

American Football with Italian Food Read more

This Super Bowl Sunday, ditch the store bought salsa for some real food. These recipes from Chef Simone are an Italian twist ...