Italian Meatballs

pasta and meatballs

Being Italian, meatballs were a staple in my home growing up. There was nothing better than sneaking a crispy, hot meatball right out of the fryer. Pure heaven! Nowadays, I tend to bake my meatballs because it’s less mess and they end up in the sauce anyway but when I am feeling it, in the fryer they will go!

I’m always playing around with my meatball recipe but lately my “go to” is an adaptation of the recipe listed in the The Sopranos Family Cookbook . They really are so delicious and remind me a lot of the ones my mom use to make when I was a kid. I love a strong cheese, garlic, and parsley flavor in my meatballs so I tend to throw a little extra in every time I make them. Also, if you don’t have fresh parley on hand just substitute with a small handful of dried parsley instead, they will still be delicious. The original recipe calls for only the use of breadcrumbs however, I had found that when I made them that way the meatballs were just a little too hard for my liking. You really want them to have a nice softness when eating so adding in the moistened white bread gave the meat the extra chew and softness that I was looking for. A drizzle of olive oil into the meat just adds a nice touch of extra flavor.

These meatballs are as delicious with sauce as they are for any cocktail meatball recipe too. I detest store-bought frozen meatballs so I when I need to make a cocktail meatball appetizer I always use this recipe. Just roll them smaller and bake (or fry) for less time. You can find the recipe for my out of this world Whiskey BBQ Cocktail Meatballs right here.

Once the meatballs are done cooking, allow them to simmer for a while in your homemade sauce so that they become even softer and absorb all of the delicious flavor of the tomatoes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of 80% ground beef or a combination of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 slices white bread, crusts removed and moistened with water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Except for the white bread, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough.

Break off small pieces of the moistened bread and add it to the meatball mixture. Mix into the meat and then continue to add more bread until it’s all combined.

Form the meat into balls and place them about 2″ apart on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat® or aluminum foil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, the meatballs can also be fried in oil until crispy and golden brown.

If serving pasta, add to the simmering sauce so the meatballs absorb the flavor and become softer.

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