Perfect Italian Meatballs seem like the appropriate way to kick off the ALMOST weekend!
These meatballs have been in the fall/winter rotation since my culinary school days, much like my baked rigatoni. They are PERFECTION. Adam, one of my very best friends and food stylist wizard, made them for me over 8 years ago! I've since stolen his recipe and made them on repeat for chilly nights when all I want to do is throw something in the oven, curl up on the couch with a blanket, and have a glass of red wine. That's basically my recipe for success these days between all the crazy deadlines and work obligations. I'm majorly savoring any down time when I can snuggle with Poppy, eat some Perfect Italian Meatballs and be very chill.
The key to these meatballs is two fold:
- the pesto like herb mixture that gets blended in a food processor before being adding to the meat mixture. It's insane and really a key moment in this recipe
- the use of both beef and pork. yes, you could absolutely just use one or the other, but the combo of two makes these extra special and worth the extra trip to the grocery store.
If you're wondering what to serve these with... here are a few of my favs:
- use this recipe and make a base of polenta
- garlic buttered noodles would be an excellent addition
- if you have some basil on hand... a basil vinaigrette pasta would be INSANE and delish!
Perfect Italian Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef sirloin
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 ½ cup panko bread crumbs divided
- 4 tablespoon milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 loosely packed cup fresh parsley
- 1 loosely packed cup s bunch basil
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium ball fresh mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl combine the beef, pork, ½ cup panko bread crumbs, milk and eggs and set aside. In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts. Process for 30-45 seconds until almost pesto like. Add the herb mixture to the meat and mix until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the meatballs into large balls then roll them in the remaining panko bread crumbs.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Fry the meatballs on all sides to seal the crust. Transfer to a baking dish.
- To the same pan, add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and some extra basil. Let everything simmer together and reduce slightly for about 10 minutes. Pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs and top with torn mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Garnish with extra torn basil and parsley.