Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Traditional Italian Meatballs

Meatballs – easy to make and easy to use. And oh so easy to eat. Pop a few on top of spaghetti or pizza, bake some into a lasagna or cover them in cheese inside a warm submarine roll.

Meatball subs are exactly what my family eats on frenetic nights when we are rushing from after school meetings, to sports practices to church activities and somehow need to sandwich (pun intended) in a quick and tasty meal.

One thing I love about making meatballs is that my boys can help. They get a kick out of rolling the meat mixture into golf ball-sized yumminess. My youngest, Sam, helped me with our latest batch. Meatballs freeze well, too. After one recent Christmas, my freezer was stocked-full for months with the dozens of meatballs left from the 90(!!) prepared by my Mom and Grampy.

So make a double batch and store some for later. When you need a fast meal, warm in the microwave, in the oven or in a pot of your favorite tomato sauce.

This is my family's traditional Italian meatball recipe, with one slight change. My Mom uses 1 cup of breadcrumbs for every 1 pound of meat. Too bready for me, so I use fewer breadcrumbs. Feel free to add your own touches here by using ground turkey or chicken, adding chopped onion, experimenting with different seasonings or swapping out some of the dry herbs for fresh herbs you have on hand.

Meatballs are very forgiving and fun – and that's the point!

Mangia! Mangia!

Traditional Italian Meatballs & Meatball Subs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal (you can replace with beef or pork)
4 eggs
1 1/2 to 3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Place meat in large bowl and make a well in the center. Add all other ingredients into the well and mix thoroughly. I recommend using your hands. The consistency should not be too wet or too dry.

Form large or small meatballs and place in foil pans or pans lined with aluminum foil. This is where the kids can help. If you make the meatballs the size of a golf ball you should get about 36.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or longer if your meatballs are larger.

If you plan to serve these meatballs with tomato sauce, let them simmer in the sauce for a bit before eating. This nicely flavors both the sauce and the meatballs.

Meatball Subs

4 submarine or hoagie buns or a large baguette (a softer bread works a little better here)
3 to 4 golf ball-sized meatballs per sandwich
Tomato sauce
Sliced or shredded provolone and/or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice buns lengthwise. Scoop out some of the inner breading to make a pocket for the meatballs.

Place buns on cookie sheet. Put 3 to 4 meatballs and some sauce inside each bun. Top with cheese.

Toast sandwiches in oven until cheese melts. Enjoy with a green salad.

1 comment:

  1. These will be absolutely delicious Andrea! I really like your receipe tweaks and meatball hero ideas! Your Grandmas & I are so proud! Don't forget to save one for your puppy girl Trixie. As for the large quantities of meatballs-when Italian Grandmas & Moms are cooking for their families or friends, there is only one concern: DID I MAKE ENOUGH?!