When I want meatballs, but don’t have the time to deal with a dozen-plus ingredients and steps, I make these. They are nothing more than loose sausage, which is already seasoned with salt and spices, and comes in a slew of flavors (sweet Italian, hot Italian, chorizo, breakfast, you name it). Roll into balls, pan-fry in a slick of hot oil, and get a totally delicious doppelgänger to put toward tomato-sauce spaghetti, cheesy sub sandwiches, grain bowls, brothy soups, and on, and on. I like mid-sized meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), but feel free to decrease or increase the size however you want; just adjust the cooking time accordingly. —Emma Laperruque
fresh, loose sausage
canola oil, plus more as needed
In This Recipe
Roll the sausage into balls, estimating about two tablespoons each.
Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. The pan should be big enough to fit all the meatballs comfortably—a 10-inch is just big enough. Add the oil. If there’s not enough oil to form a thin layer, add a little more. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the meatballs. They should sizzle loudly.
Pan-fry the meatballs for about 8 minutes—turning each one every couple minutes—until browned and crusty on the outside and cooked through on the inside (at least 150°F on an instant-read thermometer for pork, 160°F for poultry).
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.