Let’s tawk about meatbawls. They’re versatile: you can serve them with pasta, on a hoagie, or on skewers as hors d’oeuvres. I’ll often make meatballs with pasta for a Sunday dinner, and then save the leftovers for meatball subs for a quick weeknight dinner. They’re delicious: their spherical shape means more surface area for a delicious brown crust, while the eggs and bread crumbs keep the inside tender and moist. They’re adaptable: don’t have pork shoulder on hand? Use all beef if you’d like. No sage? Basil’s cool. Still not convinced? Here’s the best part: they’re easy. Really easy. Much easier than they look, I promise! If you grate your parmesan and mince your garlic in the food processor, there’s not much else to do except shape the balls (and that part’s fun!). So…what are you waiting for?
Recipe: Meatballs with Marinara
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 pound ground pork shoulder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced sage
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 48 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground chuck, pork, eggs, parmesan, 6 cloves of minced garlic, sage, thyme, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 ground black pepper, and 1.5 cups of panko bread crumbs.
- Try to shape the mixture into a golfball-sized sphere- if the mixture is too wet to hold together, add more breadcrumbs.
- When the mixture will hold its shape, form into golfball-sized spheres and set aside on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat in an 8 quart heavy bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven.
- When the pan is hot, add 6 to 8 meatballs at a time to brown, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown 2-3 minutes on at least three sides of the meatball so that most of the exterior is browned.
- When they are thoroughly browned (they don’t need to be cooked all the way through at this point) remove from the pan and set aside on a foil-covered platter while you brown the rest of the meatballs in batches of 6-8.
- When all of the meatballs are browned, turn the heat down to medium low and add the onion to the pan.
- When the onion is translucent (after 4-5 minutes), add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a low simmer.
- Add the parmesan and stir until fully melted into the sauce.
- Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce, turn heat to low, and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve over pasta, on a hoagie, or alone garnished with grated parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6