Meatballs, an Italian comfort food classic! They are perfect with a plate of spaghetti, on top of a delicious plate of cheesy, buttery polenta or in a sub. Meatballs are straightforward to make, extremely flavourful and they keep well in the fridge. There are many phenomenal Italian chefs and Nonnas out there with recipes that have been passed down for generations but this recipe is one that I made using tips and tricks from my Italian neighbours and friends. It has been tried and tested on some of the pickiest eaters I know. These meatballs can turn almost any starchy main into a hearty meal. They are perfect for lunches or dinners and more versatile than they are given credit for.
If you give this recipe a shot, make sure to post up your creation on Instagram and tag @tastetoronto and @travelandmunchies!
Italian Meatballs 7 Steps
Preheat oven to 400˚F (if baking instead of frying). Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Finely grate 1/4 cup cheese and place in a large bowl. Finely chop 2 cloves garlic, then coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves; add everything to the bowl. Add ground beef, ground pork, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix lightly with a fork until just combined.
Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), wetting your hands with water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking, and place on a baking sheet so that they are not touching. You should have 16 to 18 meatballs.
To bake: Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are browned and cooked through.
To fry: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the meatballs and brown the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to large plate (the meatballs will not be fully cooked).
Add 1 jar or 3 cups marinara sauce into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Gently add the meatballs into the sauce, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook meatballs for 5 to 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Serve with pasta, polenta or use to make your favourite meatball sub!