Surprising for having an Italian background, Rob didn’t really grow up eating meatballs. The benefit for me is that I can really experiment with different meatball flavors and meat combinations. I know a lot of people who have a family recipe that changing any aspect of would result in effectively disownment.
The fun thing with meatballs is that they can serve multiple roles. They can be an easy appetizer like you would see in Italy or over pasta in the classic American style. Fun fact: spaghetti and meatballs is an American creation that you won’t find it in Italy where meatballs are a stand alone item, often in very large form.
I have made at least 5 or 6 different versions of meatballs and to be honest I rarely make the same recipe twice in a row. My favorite meatball option is ground veal. It is almost always at least one of the meats in the mixture. This version incorporates veal, pork, and beef, which I consider a pretty classic mixture. One of my other favorites was veal and chicken sausage, it was so flavorful and so light!
I have also found that I love to give them a bit of a pan fry before throwing them in the sauce. It gives them a slightly crispy crust and locks in a lot of the flavor. More often than not, I also make more than I need in one night. Meatballs make a great freezer meal, what I have found though is that you should bake them first otherwise they tend to just breakdown when reheating.
- 1 Lb Ground Veal
- 1 Lb Ground Beef
- 1 Lb Ground Pork
- 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
- 2 Eggs Whisked
- 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1/2 Yellow Onion Minced
- 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seed Crushed
- 1/2 Tsp Oregano
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
- 1 Tsp Parsley minced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine all of the ingredients. Be careful not to over work the mixture as it can cause dense meatballs.
- Roll the meatballs in roughly 1.25 inch diameter balls.
- Either bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes and use or freeze or heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until browned.