These meatballs are one of our trademark dishes—and could be just about the greatest meatballs ever made! From day one, customers have told us that the meatballs are as good as their grandmother’s. High praise, indeed! We hope every one of our guests almost believes a little old Italian grandmother is in our kitchen cooking Italian American dishes as she always has. Make these to use as we do in Carmine’s Family-Style Cookbook or however you and your family like meatballs: simmered in your favorite marinara sauce, lightly sautéed with peppers and sausage, chopped up and scrambled with eggs, rolled into small nuggets and served with toothpicks for cocktail parties. There are nearly endless ways to use meatballs this good. The best way to mix all these ingredients is with your hands so that you literally can fold them into the meat, but don’t be rough. Once you have made these a few times, you will get the feel for them. Another key is to brown the meatballs and then cook them in the sauce to let the flavors blend. Makes about 12 meatballs and 6 cups sauce
- 1½ POUNDS GROUND BEEF, SUCH AS CHUCK WITH 20% FAT
- ½ POUND GROUND VEAL
- 2 LARGE EGGS. BEATEN
- ¼ CUP CARMINE’S BREAD CRUMBS
- 3 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
- 2 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED FRESH BASIL
- 1 TABLESPOON SALT
- 1 TEASPOON FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC
- ½ TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 4 SLICES FIRM WHITE BREAD, CRUSTS REMOVED
- 1 CUP MILK
- 1 CUP GRATED ROMANO CHEESE
- 2 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL
- 1 LARGE SPANISH ONION, PEELED AND THINLY SLICED
- 1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED GARLIC
- 10 CUPS CARMINE’S MARINARA SAUCE
- In a large mixing bowl, use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix together the beef, veal, and eggs. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt, garlic, and pepper and mix it well.
- Tear the bread into pieces and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the milk and let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes or until the milk is nearly absorbed. Add the bread to the meat and use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix it well. Stir in the grated cheese.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the meat mixture is firm.
- Using an ice cream scoop, remove chunks of meat and roll them between dampened palms into meatballs, each weighing about 3 ounces. Refrigerate the meatballs for at least 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
- To sauté the meatballs, heat one teaspoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the meatballs and cook them for about 10 minutes, turning them until they are browned on all sides. Transfer them to a platter and set them aside.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté them for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are browned.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the marinara sauce over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until the sauce starts to boil. Stir in the onions and garlic.
- Add the browned meatballs and any accumulated juices and cook them over medium heat for about 45 minutes. Do not cover them while cooking. Remove them from the heat and set them aside for about 45 minutes or until they have had ample time to mellow and the flavors of the sauce and meat intermingle.
- To store the meatballs, let them cool in the sauce. Transfer them to a tightly lidded storage container and refrigerate them for up to 1 week or freeze them for up to 1 month.