Italian Meatballs

I love making big batches of meatballs on Sunday's because they make the house smell so good! If you have lots of leftovers and don't want to eat them every night of the week, just freeze them and whip them out on a night you don't feel like cooking. These meatballs are SO tender and perfect over spaghetti or you want to make subs.

The secret to really tender and juicy meatballs is using bread instead of bread crumbs. Most Italians will soak the bread in milk and then ring it out which is a great method, but lately I've started soaking the bread in the onion and garlic juices which really gives it a great, rich flavor. The grated onion is also a really nice touch because you don't get chunks of raw onion in your meatballs that just ends up taking over your mouth.

Cooking them in the sauce also makes them very soft and tender. If they are too soft they may fall apart. An alternative to this is sautéing them and letting them brown in some olive oil and then transferring them to the pot of tomato sauce to finish cooking.

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS:

1 pound pork

1 pound veal

1/4 cup chopped parsley

3 eggs

1.5 cup ripped sandwich white bread

1/4 cup milk

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup grated onion

1/4 cup Parmesan

1/4 cup Pecorino Romano (can be substituted for more Parmesan)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

TOMATO SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cans peeled whole tomatoes (San Marzano are the best)

4 cloves of garlic

1/2 onion, finely chopped

a handful of fresh basil

salt & pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • soak the bread in the grated onion, milk and garlic until the bread has absorbed all the liquids (you can also pulse this in a food processor)

  • add all meatball ingredients to a bowl including the bread and onions and mix thoroughly. Roll meatball mixture into balls with your hands and place on a plate and place in refrigerator

  • begin your tomato sauce by crushing the peeled whole tomatoes with your hands, or I just throw them in a food processor until they are your desired consistency. I like to keep it slightly chunky

  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a pot and add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent. then add tomatoes and bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the basil whole and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce thickens

  • take the meatballs out of the fridge and sear them in a pan with 3 tbs olive oil - you can also skip this step and place them directly into the pot of tomato sauce if you like your meatballs really soft, just be careful stirring them

  • simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes and serve with extra Parmesan on top!

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