We conclude our Meatball Series with what meatballs really should be: Italian, handmade, little round balls of flavor, served with a red sauce over pasta.This is part of the DeSando Family Spaghetti & Meatball recipe (Desando Family Spaghetti & Meatball Recipe). My dad cooked the meatballs in the red sauce that simmered all night. The smell wafted through the house all night.
I used to do it that way, but have found baking them in the oven, then cooking them in the sauce, produces a very flavorful spaghetti sauce, with about 90% less grease, that needs to be skimmed off of the sauce.
These meatballs can be a little expensive to make, but you can trim the budget by cutting out the ground veal and using store-bought parmesan cheese. But as my mom used to say – “Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing.” So buy the veal and use Reggiano as your parm.
Equal parts Ground Beef, ground Veal, ground Italian sausage, ground pork – about 2 lbs total
4-5 cloves Minced fresh garlic
1 large onion or shallot – chopped
Olive Oil – couple of tablespoons
1 cup Parmesan Cheese [Reggiano of course]
1 cup Italian Bread crumbs (or stale bread ground up)
Spices – oregano, thyme, rosemary, dry basil, crushed red pepper flakes. Most of these spices are also in the sauce, so exact measurements are not as necessary. Anywhere from 1-2 teaspoons each spice
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine the meats, garlic, onions, eggs, parm cheese, bread crumbs (and/or stale bread), olive oil and spices.
Knead all ingredients by hand, until well mixed.
Roll into golf ball sized meatballs. about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange on a prepared baking sheet. Parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.
For cooking, bake in oven at 375 for 30 minutes, and then drop in the sauce. They taste much better if allowed to cook in the sauce. (If you cook meatballs in the sauce without baking, you will have way too much grease in the sauce. Baking the meatballs in the oven cooks out a lot of the grease.)