Most Italian families have their own way of making meatballs. My family is no exception. I joke that I make the best meatballs in my family but the truth is, it’s my mom’s recipe! There are a million different ways to make Italian meatballs but my mom and I agree, just make sure you use Pecorino Romano cheese!
BEFORE we begin making meatballs, we make our sauce so it’s hot by the time our meatballs are ready to be added.
If you’re making homemade sauce, you’ll want to do the same and start the sauce first.
If you’re using your favorite store-bought sauce, you don’t need as much time but you’ll want to start heating your sauce right after you finish rolling your meatballs. Remember, the longer your meatballs are cooking in the sauce, the more flavor your meatball will have so make sure you love your sauce and that it’s hot and ready to go!
Level of Difficulty: EASY (Two steps: assembling the meatball and sautéing it).
Prep Time: 25 – 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes sautéing and for as long as you like in your tomato sauce!
What you’ll need:
1 pound of ground beef chuck (or if you prefer you can do 1/3 ground beef chuck, 1/3 veal and 1/3 pork but it’s not necessary).
1 cup of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (not plain)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of grated sweet onion
½ cup of minced parsley (you should see the green flecks throughout the mixture)
1 clove minced fresh garlic
½ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
½ cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of salt -OR- garlic salt and black pepper
What you do:
In a large mixing bowl, add your meat, your breadcrumbs and so on. We add it in the order of the ingredient list. The most important thing is to make sure the ingredients are mixed together well.
Now, we’re ready to roll! We try to get 12 meatballs per pound. For reference, try to roll yours slightly smaller than a golf ball. Keep your meatballs compact and uniform.
In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of olive oil on med-high. Once at the med-high heat, add one meatball. If the oil sizzles, you’re good to add the rest of the meatballs. Just make sure you’re not overcrowding the skillet as you will need room to turn them. Depending on the size of your skillet, you should be able to fit 8-12 meatballs in one skillet or saute pan.
In terms of doneness, our general gauge is 3 minutes per side. We want to make sure there’s a nice brown crust on your meatball.
Once your meatballs have been turned you can add to your sauce or let them cool and freeze them for future meals.