Actress Sofia Vergara and Buca di Beppo have joined forces again for the second installment of "Meatballs 4 Niños," a charitable campaign supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to raise funds and awareness. Buca chef Rick Yurmanovich personally kicks off the initiative by speaking about the mission, and showing us how to best recreate Buca's famous half-pound meatballs at home. For more info: BucadiBeppo.com
Buca di Beppo's Famous Meatball Recipe Makes 6 Large Meatballs
You'll need: 1 ½ pounds ground chuck ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese ½ cup bread crumbs (preferably Italian) 2 large eggs 6 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper 8 ounces of water 32 ounces of authentic marinara sauce
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients and mix thoroughly. Do not over mix this will cause the meatballs to become tough. Divide into equal portions and shape into 6 meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until a dark brown crust forms, 13 to 15 minutes.
Step 2: Transfer meatballs to a Dutch oven. Combine marinara sauce and water, and pour over the meatballs. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until meatballs are cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Place the meatballs on a platter. Skim the oil from the top of the marinara and ladle it over the meatballs.
Do all this and you should be able to enjoy a Buca-style meal in the comfort of your home! If it doesn't turn out quite as you'd hoped, though, our doors are always open during dinnertime for dine-in and carry-out.