Nonna's Meatballs Recipe on Food52


Nonna's Meatballs

August 20, 2019
2 Ratings
Author Notes

My Nonna's recipe. I've been eating them my whole life and every time I make them I think of her. I cook them in her sauce which is cooked long and low with pork, but you can also fry them and add to any marinara sauce you like. - Nancy Jo —Nancy Jo

Test Kitchen Notes

If I had a nonna, this is how I'd hope her meatballs would taste. My family would happily eat these every Sunday. First off, this recipe couldn't be simpler. No exotic ingredients that I had to purchase, no soaking bread, not much to prep. I particularly liked Nancy Jo's suggestion to test for seasoning by frying up a small bit. Why have I never heard this before? I chose to brown (but not cook through), the meatballs in a frying pan and then drop them into some hot marinara sauce I had on a simmer. Everyone loved them—they're light, nicely cheesy and just tasty as can be. Now if only I had some of Nonna's pork sauce... - healthierkitchen —The Editors

  • Serves 8
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese (a blend is nice)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced (use a press if you have one)
  • salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Mix all the ingredients using your hands. After they are mixed add a little warm water. You want the consistency to be soft and a little sticky. When you roll them, wet your hands so they don't stick to your hands too much. tip: I take a small amount and fry it in a pan to check for seasoning. It only takes a minute and it's worth it to see if you need more cheese or salt and pepper.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • Liz Harty
    Liz Harty

    2 Reviews

    Liz H. June 25, 2018
    Would panko or Italian bread crumbs work here instead of fresh?
    lapadia August 12, 2010
    Cheers to Nonna, thanks for sharing her recipe!