Foodie Friday: WNBF Legend, Bernie Fionte’s Meatballs
As News Radio 1290 WNBF welcomes new team member, James Kelly, we decided to finally share a gem this Foodie Friday from one of the greats in Binghamton broadcasting history, late WNBF News Director and Binghamton television broadcast pioneer, Bernard Fionte.
This meatball recipe was shared with us by Bernie's stepson, Joe Campbell and did not appear in the iconic WNBF cookbook.
Joe reflects: "I was fortunate to enjoy Bernard Fionte’s Meatballs. He is >100% Italian and this delicious recipe proves it. It’s written for engineers, no cooking knowledge required!"
Bernard Fionte’s Meatballs
Makes 8 to 10 meatballs. Recipe multiples well. Oil may be reused.
- 1½ lbs ground beef
- ¾ bunch of parsley, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 3-6 Tbsp fresh Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (Progresso, Arnold, etc.)
- 5-7 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Good Virgin press pure olive oil (El Toro Rita 100% Spain, Pompeian, Filipo Berio)*
- Add all ingredients, except eggs and oil, to the bowl
- Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork; add to the rest of the ingredients
- Coat your palms with oil and mix the ingredients together (it’s better to have too many eggs; if it’s too wet, add bread crumbs)
- Divide mixture evenly into 8-10 meatballs and roll in the palms of your hands until round
- Place approx. ½ in. oil in frying pan and heat until just smoking
- Drop in a pinch of breadcrumbs to test if it’s hot enough; breadcrumbs should spritz a little
- Gently add meatballs to the oil to sauté; use a plastic spatula to loosen meatballs from the pan after a couple of seconds
- Cook 15-30 seconds per side to brown on all sides
- Continue to cook 15-20 minutes, turning often, until done
- Place on paper towels to drain
- Serve warm, not hot (they can even be enjoyed cold)
* Good oil is important, Farchioni Extra Virgin Olive Oil might be the choice today.
Recorded in the kitchen of Bernie Fionte in the 1980s by Joe & Shawn Campbell with Sally Fionte on Lincoln Ave, Binghamton, NY.