Meatballs are such a versatile ingredient. You can eat them as a snack or over pasta. Plus they can be eaten right away or frozen to save for later. At any given time I probably have at least two dinners worth of meatballs in my freezer just waiting to be heated.
I make meatballs in many different ways, more often than not based on the types of ground meat available at the grocery store. This trip, I was glad that they had chicken-based Italian sausage and ground pork. I didn’t want to double down on pork Italian sausage since I wanted to be able to build a little more of my own flavor. This is a good summer meat mixture that is both a little leaner and healthier.
When making meatballs, I like to keep it pretty traditional. Let’s also be clear, by traditional I mean what would be expected in an Italian-American meatball. Flavors like parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, etc. will almost always be in my meatballs.
Where I like to mix things up is how I do the initial cooking. My preferred method is to pan fry then. This is definitely the best way to get a nice crust on them. It helps them hold up better to further cooking in a sauce. Plus, I personally think they look better.
When serving over pasta, I think a string noodle is the best. Spaghetti and bucatini would be my go to options. While a tube pasta could work they would likely just get crushed and a thinner tomato sauce doesn’t really work. I guess there is a reason its “spaghetti and meatballs.” As an aside, this is definitely an American concept, you wouldn’t see meatballs over pasta in Italy.
Chicken Sausage-Pork Meatballs
- 1 Lb Chicken Mild Italian Sausage
- 1 Lb Ground Pork
- 1/2 Breadcrumbs
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 Tbs Parsley minced
- 1/4 Yellow Onion finely diced
- 1 Egg beaten
- 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently fold all of the ingredients together until evenly mixed together.
- Form the mixture into 1-1.5″ diameter balls. Do not pack too densely together.
- Heat about a 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil (or other high smoke point oil) in a skillet over a high medium heat.
- Fry the meatballs, working in batches. Each side should take 3-4 minutes for a nice golden brown crust to form. Rotate as necessary to get a consistent crust.
- Either use or freeze. For use, I recommend a more simple tomato sauce.