By now you should know I’m a pretty big fan of Italian(s)—food, people, culture—so it should come as no surprise that the guy I’m dating is Italian. When we first met I asked what his last meal on Earth would be, and he immediately responded with his dad’s meatballs. So (obviously) I got my hands on the recipe and here we are. You can thank Steven Constantino if you fall in love with these meatballs—and trust me, you will.
This was my second time making them, and I don’t know how they compare to Matt’s father’s, but I thought they were damn delicious. Matt kindly informed me they were a bit onion heavy, and to make sure to chop the onions into oblivion. The recipe calls for one small onion or half a large one, and I think I chose too big of a large one. The first time I made them, I remember him deliberately instructing me to chop all the ingredients into smithereens, so just make sure you finely, finely, finely dice everything to avoid one ingredient from masking the others.
For this batch of meatballs, I made the homemade marinara sauce recipe I stole from Carissa’s family (you see now why I keep Italians close—they always have the best family recipes). But the first time I made the meatballs, I used a jarred sauce called Rao’s that Matt swears by. It’s a little more expensive than the popular brands like Prego or Ragu, but it tastes homemade, so it’s definitely worth it.
We’ve used the meatballs to make subs, put them over pasta, and just eaten them by themselves in the sauce, with a little parmesan on top. I think Matt’s dad even uses them in his lasagna, which I’d love the recipe for—hint, hint!
- 2 lbs ground chuck
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup romano cheese
- 1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small or half a large yellow onion, minced (very finely)
- 1/2 cup fresh, flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- sauce (3–4 24-oz jars or homemade marinara)
- fresh basil, to garnish
Make sauce if using homemade.
Finely mince the garlic, onion, and parsley. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients (except sauce) and mix well with hands.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Shape mixture into medium-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 3o minutes.
Warm the sauce and drop in balls to continue cooking until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh basil.
*Recipe makes 20-30 meatballs. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag in the freezer.
**Ask your butcher to grind chuck for you if you can’t find it already ground.