"Da Meat a Ball"

By • August 8, 2010 26 Comments

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Author Notes: A recipe, now slightly modified to my taste, that was inspired by my Grandma Angelo; who came to this country after my Grandfather worked in America a few years and was finally able to send $ for the family to join him. To this day I can still smell the “meat-a-ball Sunday” aroma and hear the laughter of those who would join us; the rest of the story is meatball history.

When preparing this recipe fry to brown the balls, but, I do admit to a quick brown in the convection oven now and then. Use fresh bread crumbs gently tossed into the ground meat mixture and lightly pack when forming the balls, make sure to brown only the outsides of them, this allows the tender interior to cook in a simmering sauce while releasing its wonderful, to die for aroma throughout the kitchen; soon you will be on your way to tender, juicy mouth-watering meatball heaven!
lapadia

Makes 10 large meatballs

PREPARING THE BALLS

  • STEP ONE = Add all sauce ingredients (see recipe below) to a 6 quart sauce pan and start simmering.
  • STEP TWO = Prepare the meatballs:
  • 1/2-lb ground sirloin and 1/2-lb ground pork
  • 2-ounces fresh bread-torn
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup micro-plane grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon toasted onion powder
  • 5 grinds fresh pepper - to your taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (I like using dried from Penzeys)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil for browning
  1. Add olive oil to a fry pan; set aside. Place the ground meat in a bowl; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add the torn bread, parsley, garlic, grated cheese, onion or onion powder, pepper, and oregano; then pulse until finely processed.
  3. Add the bread mixture and the beaten egg to the ground meat; gently toss with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated. The mixture must feel moist, (slightly sticky) and be able to hold together; add 1 tablespoon of water at a time if you feel the mixture needs more moisture.
  4. Gently form the meat into lightly packed balls.
  5. Heat the fry pan – medium high heat; fry the balls, brown and crisp all sides. Brown only the outside of the meatball to seal them together. Note: I have also browned these in the oven @ 375 degrees for ½ hour, turning a few times.
  6. Transfer the meatballs to an already simmering sauce and cover. The inside of meatball will cook in the sauce.
  7. Simmer sauce for about 2-3 hours; until the sauce is sticking to the balls, they look juicy, and the aroma is filling the air with “Italian goodness”.

THE SAUCE - start at least an hour before preparing the meatballs, or, make a day ahead and bring to a simmer while preparing the meatballs.

  • 1-28 ounce can organic crushed plum tomatoes with basil.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (my favorite to use is Amore concentrated Sun-Dried Tomato Paste, comes in a tube, I feel it adds an extra rich flavor.
  • 6-8 cloves smashed and minced garlic.
  • Salt/Pepper to taste.
  1. Add all the sauce ingredients above to a 6 quart sauce pan and start simmering while meatballs are being prepared.
  2. Optional - Keep a couple slices of fresh bread close by for "sauce testing", a bottle of your favorite red wine for adding a little moisture to the sauce, if needed...and for sipping too!
  3. RE: the lingo “sauce” vs. “gravy”…awww, that’s a family thing, but I have always loved the debate over it all!

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees|Meatballs|Plums

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Comments (26) Questions (0)

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about 5 years ago lapadia

My hat if off to all the meatball recipes entered, all of them tasty; I especially like reading about the recipe’s origin, most of which hold a special place in the heart, passed down from generation to generation…Thanks to all for sharing stories, pictures and recipes!!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

correction....my hat IS off...hate it when I do that

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about 5 years ago Lizthechef

Sorry my comment a while back was deleted, but not my feelings about such a terrific recipe. Family recipes lie close to my heart. This one is a winner!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much! I always look forward to seeing your recipes and your family pictures too!

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about 5 years ago gingerroot

These sound (and look) soo good. I am going to start with your (and your Grandma Angelo's) recipe to make my first really authentic Italian meatballs and sauce!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thank gingerroot, enjoy your meal...eat, drink and be merry!!

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about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yum

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks drbabs, I hope you try it sometime!

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about 5 years ago GloriousGarlic

Everything you come up with is delicious. Still have my favorites though.

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks and back at you, waiting to see a recipe or two from you! Oh, and one of your favorites is out here...Braciole!

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about 5 years ago MFMcSweeney

Very delicous and the meatballs make great meatball sandwiches too:)

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Yes, I ? meatball sandwiches, my favorite is cold; to slice the meatball, spread some mayo on good Italian bread, sprinkle some cheese and sandwich it all together.

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about 5 years ago WinnieAb

These look really authentic and delish!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks, WinnieAb!

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about 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmm, so delicious! Love the recipe and really love the story. It's wonderful, isn't it, how a dish can evoke not just tastes and smells, but also the laughter and the love of the people who have shared it. ;o)

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks AJ, and yes, so true about the memories a dish can evoke!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks for checking out what I have been up to, and where you can find a recipe or two, actually there are so many excellent meatball recipes (and more) that I need to try!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

And...you all know who I am talking to!

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about 5 years ago Anna "newbie"

I've tasted this recipe and it's da best. Mangia!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks!

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about 5 years ago dbrowne

I will give this a try. Thank you for remembering how to make these. I still remember those dinners

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Happy Cooking!

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about 5 years ago spicecat

Linda,

This sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it.

Karen

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Love to get your feedback!

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about 5 years ago Sagegreen

These sound classically perfect!

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about 5 years ago lapadia

Thanks, and I am thinking about your Garbanzo meatballs as I type!