Grandma’s Famous Italian Meatballs
This recipe is featured in the Entertaining Recipes Made Simple e-Cookbook. These meatballs are to-die-for! My grandma started making these when she was a child in Italy, and this recipe has been passed down to me. One of my ultimate comfort food dishes is pasta with italian meatballs. This classic goes a long way with some homemade pomodoro sauce. The secret to the melt-in-your mouth meatballs are the walnuts and the milk-soaked bread. I also usually make this special meal with sausages! Buy sweet or hot italian sausages and add them to the sauce and cook along with the meatballs. Keep this recipe! I guarantee it will be a favorite for you for many years! You can use any type of pasta for this dish. Sometimes I use spagetti and other times I’ll use macaroni, ziti or penne. It’s up to you! My grandma made this for my boyfriend when we were visiting her and he thought he died and went to heaven!
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 big onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup milk
4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
3 pounds ground beef, pork and veal mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce (recipe follows)
Leaves from fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 pound spaghetti
Special Equipment: Soup Pot with Glass Lid
Bring a big pot of salted water and dashes of olive oil to a boil for the spaghetti.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.
Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling. Combine the meat in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and break the bread into bits and add it to a bowl along with the walnuts and cooled onion mixture. Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together. Shape them into meatballs.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Put a medium sized pot on the stove at medium heat. Add the sauce and the meatballs. (I usually put the meatballs into the sauce as soon as the sauce ingredients are combined.) I also add sausages at this point. Cook on medium heat, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour on the sauce and meatballs and garnish with basil leaves and fresh parmesan cheese.
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