- 1 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey, chicken, or lamb
- ½ cup long-grain white rice, rinsed well and drained
- ½ cup coarsely grated onion
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 to 6 cups hot water, plus more as needed
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
- Gently combine the meat, rice, onion, parsley, egg whites, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl with a large fork or impeccably clean hands. Mix until just combined but do not overwork, or your meatballs will be tough. Using your hands, gently form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Gently place the meatballs into the oil, arranging them in neat rows. Slowly pour 4 cups of the hot water over the meatballs to cover, using more water if necessary. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the meatballs are tender and fully cooked. Add more water if less than 1 cup remains. You should end up with about 2 cups of broth in the pot when the meat is done.
- Whisk the 2 egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl until smooth, then slowly whisk in the lemon juice. Temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring 1 cup of hot broth from the pot into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously until well combined. Slowly pour the egg yolk-broth mixture back into the pot with the meatballs, stirring gently to combine. Do not allow the broth to boil at this point or the eggs will scramble.
- Gently shake the pot to coat the meatballs. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately, with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
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