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Meatballs with Peas and Mushrooms
Serves 4

You can add 1/2 cup of white raisins to the meatball mixture, which will add a lovely sweetness to the dish. We like to serve this with rice.

1 lb. lean ground beef, or a mixture of ground beef and veal
6 tablespoons fine cornmeal
1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 egg white
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
4 cups wild mushrooms, fresh or defrosted
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups fresh peas, or 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1 teaspoon dried basil

To make the meatballs, combine the beef, cornmeal, finely chopped onion, garlic, parsley, egg white, and salt in a bowl. Mash the ingredients together with your hands until they are thoroughly mixed. Form balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter. This should make about 20 meatballs.

Preheat the broiler.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet or low saucepan. Add the sliced onions and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, over a moderate heat until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste, cover the skillet and cook the vegetables over a medium low heat for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes dissolve.

In the meantime, rub a cookie tray with vegetable oil. Place the meatballs on the tray and broil them close to the heat. Carefully turn the balls over with a spatula and brown them all over, about 6 minutes.

Shell the peas. Put the peas, broth, and basil in a large saucepot and boil them for 1 minute. Add the meatballs, peas, and broth to the mushroom mixture. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.