1 lb ground beef*
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated pecorino or romano cheese
1 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced italian flat leaf parsley
1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
3 large eggs
extra virgin olive oil (or as needed)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp port wine
1/2 cup green or black olives, cut into wedges
1/4 cup golden raisins
1To make the meatballs mix the ground beef with the bread crumbs, pine nuts, pecorino, diced onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and the eggs. Check the texture and if too soft to form a ball, add a little more bread crumb - if too dry add another egg.
2Oil your hands with olive oil and form into balls - either 10 large egg sized balls or 20-24 smaller walnut sized balls.
3Brown the meatballs in 1/2 inch of olive oil over medium heat, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding. Turn to brown evenly and then remove the meatballs to paper towels to drain.
4In a clean skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the sliced onion. Saute until softened and golden, about 10-15 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and wine and stir to dissolve the sugar.
5Add the meatballs back to the pan along with the olives and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the meatballs sit in the agrodolce sauce for 15 minutes or more before serving.
6Serve these warm or at room temperature in the sauce.
*If you would rather use another meat, sub ground beef for pork, lamb or veal.