Who needs spaghetti or lasagna?
This fun dish from Flavor & The Menu plops meatballs into a fonduta, an Italian variation of Swiss fondue.
Even richer than fondue, fonduta adds eggs, milk and butter to the melted cheese. The recipe is below.
The original recipe was created in the Valle d’Aosta region of northwest Italy, an area of the Alps bordered by France and Switzerland. Fondue likely jumped the border from Switzerland to Italy.
In the Valle d’Aosta, cooks enriched the local fontina cheese (Swiss fondue is based on gruyère) and served it as a dip for bread and crudités, or as a sauce for cooked vegetables.
Here’s the history of fondue, which dates to the 17th century.
While the classic cheese for fonduta is fontina, you can use any semihard cheese. Just avoid crumbly aged cheeses.
Plan ahead: In this recipe, the cheese and milk must meld overnight. Also plan that when the fonduta comes off the stove, it’s ready to eat. No one wants cold fonduta!
If you have a fondue pot with a heat source, or a brazier, use them.
Or even better, make your fonduta in individual dishes instead of one serving dish. With a large serving dish, it’s messier to scoop-and-serve.
If you prefer an all-mozzarella fonduta, follow the directions for the smoked mozzarella fonduta (substitute regular mozzarella as you wish) in photo #2.
1. PLACE the cheese and milk in a small bowl, ensuring that the milk just covers the cheese (add more milk as needed). Cover and set aside overnight. When you’re ready to cook:
2. PREPARE a double boiler. Add water to the bottom half and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Then place the butter into top half. When melted, stir in the cheese and milk mixture until the cheese has melted.
3. ADD the egg yolks one at a time to the cheese mixture, whisking constantly until the fonduta is smooth, thick and glossy (about 10 minutes). Pour it into a warm serving dish (heat it for 20 or more seconds in the microwave) and serve immediately.
For The Meatball Fonduta
1. HEAT the marinara before creating the fonduta, and keep warm. When the fonduta is hot and ready to pour…
2. COVER the bottom of the serving dish with the sauce, then add the fonduta. Top with the meatballs and mozzarella. Heat briefly in the microwave to melt the mozzarella. Garnish with herbs and serve immediately with the toasts for dipping.
NOTE: This dish is easier to eat with a soup spoon, rather than a fork.
*Herb garnish is not traditional with fonduta or fondue, but we like the subtle flavor it adds.