Neapolitan Carnevale Meatballs

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For Carnevale (aka Mardi Gras, aka Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday) in Naples, it was traditional to make giant meatballs with raisins served in tomato sauce with spaghetti.  This recipe comes from my great-grandmother and grandmother, who are both from Casoria, Italy, right outside Naples.

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Here is a picture of the inside of the meatballs to see the raisins.  I used regular and golden raisins and made pork meatballs.

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Neapolitan Carnevale Meatballs with Raisins

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2 pounds chopped meat–beef, pork, veal or just one or a mix of all

2 or 3 large eggs

2/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices stale bread, pulsed quickly in food processor (large crumbs not fine)

1/2 cup raisins

Combine all ingredients, except the bread, in a large bowl.  When well mixed, add enough bread to bind the meat mixture.  Shape into large balls, the size of a large egg.  Place the balls on a baking sheet, not touching, in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until done.  Alternatively, they can be added raw to tomato sauce for about 3 hours until done on low heat.  Serve with or without spaghetti.

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