Meatballs & Meatball Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? They’re so versatile because you can eat them with just a bit of marinara sauce and a dusting of grated parmesan or romano cheese, partner them with spaghetti, dice them and add to a lasagna, or my favorite . . . meatball sandwich either with or without a blanket of melted mozzarella! And if that’s not enough, they freeze beautifully so you can always have them on hand.

You can use almost any ground meat to make meatballs, but I generally prefer 85% ground beef, which means it’s 15% fat and 85% beef. I find that if I go higher than that ratio, the meatballs get too fatty, although some drips off in the baking pan. I’ve tried “meatloaf mix” which is a combination of ground beef, veal and pork. I find it too fatty for my taste, but many people love it. I’ve also made meatballs with ground turkey which are also very delicious.

  If you have an ice cream scoop (I use 2 1/2-inch), use it to form the meatballs so they’re all the same size.

MEATBALLS

Yield: 15-16

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk – any type that’s in your fridge
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons) – see mincing garlic
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup grated romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 lbs. 85% ground beef

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.Crack the eggs into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Whisk them (see Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Cheese) until they’re well blended.

3.Add the next 9 ingredients and mix well.

4.Add the ground beef and gently mix it into the mixture with your hands until it is just combined. Don’t overdo it or your meatballs will be tough!

5.Using either an ice cream scoop (2 1/2-inch or so) or a large spoon, form meatballs and place them on a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray or parchment paper. If you have a toaster oven, the rectangular baking pan that comes with it works perfectly. You should have 15-16 meatballs.

6.Bake for 30 minutes and remove from the oven. They’re ready to use!

For One Meatball Sandwich: Spread 4 tablespoons of marinara sauce on the inside of a lightly toasted hoagie roll. Slice 2-3 meatballs (depending on the size of your roll) in half and place them on one half of the roll. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of grated romano cheese and serve OR add either grated or sliced mozzarella cheese on top and run under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Below is a meatball sandwich prepped for the broiler.

Grocery Bag: Meatballs & Meatball Sandwich