Everyone has his or her own meatball recipe, and it's usually rooted in family tradition. The recipe below came to me through my mother, Angelina. While her meatballs were all intended for the gravy -- or do you say sauce? -- a fair number never made it that far. While many cooks don't put onion in their meatball mixture, my mother always added a bit, finely chopped. It's an addition you might want to try. Dede and I prefer to fry our meatballs, rather than bake them, as did our mothers. They keep their shape and hold together better in the sauce, and they have a nice brown crust to them. Feel free to visit our blog and share your own family's meatball-making secrets.
- 1-1/2 cups stale French or Italian bread
- 2 pounds ground chuck or sirloin
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground veal (optional)
- 1/3 cup diced onion (optional)
- 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic (more or less to taste)
- 1-1/4 cups chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
Moisten stale bread with milk and/or water, then squeeze out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, being careful not to over work (it will make the meatballs tough) or over salt (the cheese has salt in it). Shape meat into balls. Heat oil in a large frying pan, and brown lightly on all sides. Don't overcrowd. Transfer to marinara sauce at full simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.