Italian Meatball Pesto Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


10 fresh garlic cloves
1/2 pound bacon
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup fresh grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup Zinfandel
2 cups fresh basil leaves
10 fresh garlic cloves
1 heaping tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 sweet Italian buns, split
6 slices provolone cheese
6 fresh tomato slices



-Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. -To make the patties, mince garlic in a food processor, add bacon and blend well. Mix in fresh chopped parsley. Scrape mixture into a large bowl. Crumble ground chuck and Italian sausage into bowl. Add sea salt,Italian seasoning, Romano cheese, and wine evenly over mixture. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit the buns. -To make the pesto, combine fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts,oil, and parmesan cheese in a food processor and process to a paste. Set aside. – When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, place 1 slice of cheese on each patty to melt. – To assemble burgers, on each bun bottom, place a patty. Spread an equal amount of pesto on each patty. Place a tomato on each patty, add bun top, and serve. Makes 6 burgers.