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April 17, 2013

Several types of peppers give heat to 'Meatballs of Fire'

Dave Foegely is the executive chef of Harry and Izzy’s Restaurant and St. Elmo Steakhouse in Indianapolis. He developed these Spicy Italian Meatballs as a bit of “trial and error,” as he explains it, after the restaurant’s owner tasked him with replicating a favorite menu item that he wanted on his own menu.

Foegely created this version of Italian meatballs, or, as he calls them, “meatballs of fire” in response.

The recipe starts with ground beef and pork, which is then heated up with white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper before a hint of herbs — thyme, oregano, and basil, Italian standards — is added. The combination is held together with egg, bread crumbs, and cream before being portioned out into 1-ounce meatballs.

To prepare the dish, Foegely takes a medium skillet, tosses the meatballs in along with red and green bell peppers and some white onion, tops it with garlic tomato sauce and lets it all come to a boil. These are perfect for a sizzling get together with friends and family.

Spicy Italian Meatballs


1/4 pound ground beef

1/4 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg

1 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup cream

1 whole green pepper

1 whole red pepper

1/2 white onion

1 cup garlic tomato sauce

1 slice baguette


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef and ground pork. (Skip to step 8 if using premade meatballs.)

2. Add the spices: thyme, basil, oregano, peppers and salt. Use your hands to mix well.

3. Add egg, cream and bread crumbs to the meat mixture. Use your hands to incorporate these as well.

4. Form the meat into balls roughly the size of a golf ball. Or use a kitchen scale to measure 1-ounce portions.

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