Mark Bittman's No-Roll Meatballs

Photo: Alison Gootee

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Meatballs with a Twist (er, a Flat Edge)
Meatballs may have a reputation for being the anchors of a Sunday supper, but crisp, tender portions of ground beef can be had on a weeknight. The trick is to take the "ball" descriptor as a mere suggestion; instead of rolling the meat mixture into perfect rounds, drop it by the spoonful into a hot pan. No one's really going to care that the finished balls look more like 3-D pentagons; the point is, they're supremely tasty, especially next to a tangle of lightly sautéed Swiss chard. Put a pot of water on to boil before you start, and the pasta will be ready just as the last meatball is coming out of the pan (toss it with some olive oil and grated Parmesan before serving).

Get the recipe: Mark Bittman's No-Roll Meatballs