My cousin Kelle is the sister I never had. As kids, we suppressed giggles in church, shared a Mrs. Beasley doll, tortured our neighbors, and once, we made it rain. As adults, we celebrate our own special holiday by cooking together. Recently, we conspired to make a white pasta (with ricotta cheese and crisped shallots), fusing elements of a traditional carbonara, while creating the perfectly complementary meatball, wrought from bacon!
Serves 4-6 (about 24 meatballs)
12 oz. applewood smoked bacon, slightly frozen
1/2 cups each Italian and Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice or cut the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces and let thaw. Put in a medium size bowl. Add egg, breadcrumbs, cheese and chopped parsley to the bacon and dive in, mixing with your hands. Form into little orbs, roughly the size of ping-pong balls (about 24). Place on a rack over a pan to catch drippings and bake for 10 minutes till browned. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes till cooked through.
This is great with an alfredo--and with scrambled eggs the next morning. Giggles left to your own discretion.
First published in part in Next magazine.