Traditional Meatballs

YIELD: 4-6 servings | TIME: 30 minutes


  1. 1 pound ground sirloin

  2. 1/3 pound ground pork

  3. 1/3 pound ground veal (optional can replace with similar amount of pork)

  4. 1 large egg

  5. 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  6. 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see note)

  7. ½ cup milk

  8. Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:  NOTE:  To make breadcrumbs, place Italian or French bread in food processor and pulse to make crumbs.  I always add approximately a tablespoon of fresh parsley to this and pulse to combine.  Gives the meatballs a little more flavor and I like the appearance of the parsley in the meatball.    If you don’t want or have time to do this step just buy store-bought Italian breadcrumbs and substitute those J

Step 3:  Combine milk and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to moisten and set aside.

Step 4:  Combine all of the meat together and loosely mix with your hands.    Add the egg, cheese, and breadcrumb mixture.  Mix together until fully combined, but be careful to not over mix because it makes the texture of the meatball chewy.  Once combined mix in salt and pepper to taste.  I generally place a little salt and pepper, mix gently, add more and do the same until I feel like I have seasoned all of it. If you just add it all at once you could have an overly salty meatball and another unseasoned.  This is too taste.  Just remember the cheese is also salty so adjust accordingly.

Step 5:  Using a medium ice-cream scoop or cookie dough scoop or your hands form 15 meatballs and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil for easier clean up.  Place in pre-heated oven and cook until cooked through (approximately 20-25 minutes).  Please note some people like to brown the meatballs in a pan before baking them. I don’t do this because I don’t like the crispy texture.  If you do than you can certainly add this step before placing in the oven.

Additional comments:  I always make a double batch of these.  I allow them to cook and place in the freezer what we don’t plan to eat for dinner.  This way I always have a last minute dinner available. I do the same for the red sauce.  If I can cook once and have two meals it saves times which is always a good thing.  Not everything freezes well, but these do.  I don’t recommend keeping them in the freezer for more than 30 days.  Some say up to 6 months and that is a personal preference.  The main thing is to ensure that they are cool and squeeze the air out of the zip lock bag so that they don’t get freezer burn.

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