"Da Meat a Ball"

August  8, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Makes 10 large meatballs
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!

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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.
  2. Add olive oil to a fry pan; set aside. Place the ground meat in a bowl; set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add the torn bread, parsley, garlic, grated cheese, onion or onion powder, pepper, and oregano; then pulse until finely processed.
  4. 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.
  5. Gently form the meat into lightly packed balls.
  6. 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.
  7. Transfer the meatballs to an already simmering sauce and cover. The inside of meatball will cook in the sauce.
  8. 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”.
  1. 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.
  2. Add all the sauce ingredients above to a 6 quart sauce pan and start simmering while meatballs are being prepared.
  3. 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!
  4. RE: the lingo “sauce” vs. “gravy”…awww, that’s a family thing, but I have always loved the debate over it all!
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  • lapadia
  • Lizthechef
  • gingerroot
  • drbabs
  • WinnieAb

26 Reviews

lapadia August 13, 2010
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!!
lapadia August 13, 2010 hat IS off...hate it when I do that
Lizthechef August 11, 2010
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!
lapadia August 11, 2010
Thanks so much! I always look forward to seeing your recipes and your family pictures too!
gingerroot August 10, 2010
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!
lapadia August 10, 2010
Thank gingerroot, enjoy your, drink and be merry!!
drbabs August 9, 2010
lapadia August 10, 2010
Thanks drbabs, I hope you try it sometime!
GloriousGarlic August 9, 2010
Everything you come up with is delicious. Still have my favorites though.
lapadia August 10, 2010
Thanks and back at you, waiting to see a recipe or two from you! Oh, and one of your favorites is out here...Braciole!
MFMcSweeney August 9, 2010
Very delicous and the meatballs make great meatball sandwiches too:)
lapadia August 9, 2010
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.
WinnieAb August 9, 2010
These look really authentic and delish!
lapadia August 9, 2010
Thanks, WinnieAb!
AntoniaJames August 9, 2010
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)
lapadia August 9, 2010
Thanks AJ, and yes, so true about the memories a dish can evoke!
lapadia August 9, 2010
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!
lapadia August 9, 2010 all know who I am talking to!
Anna ". August 9, 2010
I've tasted this recipe and it's da best. Mangia!
lapadia August 9, 2010
dbrowne August 8, 2010
I will give this a try. Thank you for remembering how to make these. I still remember those dinners
lapadia August 9, 2010
Happy Cooking!
spicecat August 8, 2010

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

lapadia August 9, 2010
Love to get your feedback!
Sagegreen August 8, 2010
These sound classically perfect!
lapadia August 8, 2010
Thanks, and I am thinking about your Garbanzo meatballs as I type!