This is a favorite for both Italian kids as well as kids all over the world. For Italian kids, it reminds us of our moms, the smell that drifts from the balcony when we were playing soccer with our friends, the pleasant atmosphere of childhood. There are many versions of meatballs, and each one is unique! Now we show you the secrets behind one of our favorite versions of Meatballs with tomato sauce.
450 gr (1 lb) ground beef meat
300 gr (0.6 lb) ground pork meat
200 gr (0.4 lb) Mortadella (or 0.2 lb ground sausage- raw without casing)
100 gr (3.5 oz) white bread (4 slices)
100 gr (3.5 oz) Parmigiano reggiano DOP cheese
40 gr (1.4 oz) parsley
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
1 lt. (4 cups) tomato sauce
1 cup of milk
1 clove of garlic
Salt – Mediterranean Sea Salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Mise en place:
Finely chop onion
Finely chop parsley
Finely chop mortadella (or sausage)
Crush and finely chop garlic
Start the recipe by coating the bottom of a large stock pot with olive oil. Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat then add the chopped onions. Cook the onion until it is golden brown and translucent, then add the tomato sauce and let it simmer on medium-heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Add salt before adding meatballs.
Meanwhile, start mixing by hand the ingredients to make the meatballs. Put the beef, the pork and the mortadella or sausage into a large bowl then lightly season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the egg, the chopped parsley, the finely chopped garlic, the grated Parmigiano cheese, the white bread (previously milk soaked then squeezed) and a pinch of nutmeg.
Work the mixture with your hands creating a mixture that is neither too dry or too moist. You know the texture is perfect when, trying to shape a meatball, it is easily pulled apart by your hands. Put about 2 cups of water in a bowl and then use it to moisten your hands while shaping meatballs. You should obtain 24 meatballs (each meatball should be approximately as big as a golf ball).
Once meatballs have been shaped, it is time to cook them in the tomato sauce. Place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and be careful not to stir them with spoons while cooking but stir them properly by grabbing the pot by its handles and lightly rotating the pot to move meatballs.
Meatballs cook in about 30 minutes on medium heat. Once cooked, let them rest for 20/30 minutes before serving.
Meatballs pair perfectly with Cesanese or Pinot Noir red wine.