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BuffaloSpree.com's Recipe of the week: Spicy Pork Meatballs with Swiss Chard

Photo by Melissa and Nino Ocampo


Recipe provided by

Carmelo Raimondi

(originally published in Buffalo Spree's cookbook, Food for Four Seasons: Recipes from Buffalo's Restaurants.)


Serves 8



2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 shallots, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
8 cups chicken stock
8 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a little more than half of the garlic. Cook and stir until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine ground pork, cooled garlic and onion mixture, basil, red pepper, Parmesan, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly using clean, bare hands. Form into 1 and 1/2-inch meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

On the stovetop, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining garlic, shallots, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add stock and thyme and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the cooking sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over another large saucepan. Discard solids. Place meatballs in the sauce and cover. Simmer over medium heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes.


Braised Chard

1 head of Swiss chard, leaves and stalks separated
1/4 cup canola oil
1 anchovy fillet
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste


Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Cook the chard stalks until they begin to grow tender. Add the leaves, cooking for just a minute or two. Strain the chard, reserving cooking liquid. Add chard to ice water bath and let soak until cool. Use your hands to wring the leaves out thoroughly. Set aside.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté anchovy until dissolved. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved chard cooking water and the greens and cook until water is evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Crispy Parmigiano

3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Using a tablespoon, place cheese in mounds onto a nonstick silicone pad or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Flatten mounds with the back of a spoon, making sure cheese mounds are at least 4 inches apart. Season with pepper. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown.



Place 3 to 4 meatballs in each bowl. Top with chard. Pool meatball cooking sauce around the meatballs. Top with crispy Parmesan and dribble with extra virgin olive oil.


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