The best meatball recipe starts with the most tender meatballs, browned in a hot skillet to seal in the juices and get crispy, golden edges and than simmered in a simple yet rich tomato sauce.
The most classic way to serve Italian meatballs is of course, over spaghetti. You can’t get more traditional or comforting than Spaghetti and Meatballs. If pasta is not your friend, you can serve meatballs with a side of mashed potatoes or rice.
For juicy, tender meatballs it’s best to combine ground beef and ground pork together, but you can easily replace the pork with ground chicken. Ground beef on it’s own can be tough and dry, adding pork or chicken will give you juicier meatballs with a softer texture.
When choosing ground beef, don’t get lean ground beef but get about 80% lean to 20% fat ratio.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Total Time 2 Hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 (Makes about 40 1-inch meatballs)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, (60ml)
- 1/2 cup yellow onions, (66g) minced
- 4 garlic cloves, (2 teaspoons, 6 g) minced
- 7 cups crushed canned tomatoes, (56 ounces)
- 6 ounces tomato paste, use less if a thinner consistency is desired
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, add more to taste
- 1 lb ground beef 80% lean meat to 20% fat
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cloves garlic, (1 teaspoon, 3g) finely minced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, (72g) finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, (16g)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, (20g) freshly grated
- 1 cup italian breadcrumbs, (127g)
- fresh basil, (for garnish if desired)
- Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent, 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir well. Add tomatoes and simmer 30 minutes.
- Season tomato sauce with salt to taste.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix using your hand.
- Cook a small test piece, taste for the correct seasoning level, correct seasoning if needed.
- Roll meatballs to the size of a large egg, about 3 ounces in weight.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, evenly space the meatballs on the sheet.
- Set the oven rack to the lower-middle position.
- Broil on high and cook the meatballs until browned about 10 minutes.
- Turn over and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add meatballs to the tomato sauce.
- Simmer on low heat for at least 1 ½ hours, checking and stirring every 20 minutes, or as needed.
- Remove the meatballs from the sauce and place into a separate bowl, cover to keep warm.
- Mix the sauce; adjust consistency with small amounts of water if too thick.
- Taste sauce and adjust with salt and pepper as desired.
- Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.