Classic Italian Meatballs
A big, best meatball recipe for a Sunday sauce crowd. This recipe can be easily halved, and extra can be frozen in a gallon freezer bag and saved for other dinners.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 60 or so medium-sized meatballs
- 2 1/2 pounds beef, pork, veal mix (equal portions)
- 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 bunch fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped fine
- 1 medium onion, grated on the large-grate side of a box grater
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
- 3 large cloves fresh garlic, finely grated or minced
- 15 turns fresh-cracked black pepper, or 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly grease or line with parchment two half-sheet pans.
Put the meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, and pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and allow it to soak in for a minute.
Add the eggs, Pecorino-Romano cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, grated onion.PRO TIP: Include the upper half of the parsley stems when chopping. The stems of most soft herbs, like parsley and cilantro, are completely edible and have great flavor. Remove your rings and bracelets and put them safely on the windowsill or a ring holder. Your hands are about to get a little messy. Mix the meatballs until combined -- mixing with your hands is the best, and arguably only, way. PRO TIP: Mixing the meatballs is an important step. It is important not to over-mix the meat. If the meat becomes too over-mixed, it will lose its ideal, fall-apart consistency. Using your hands helps control the mixing.
Using a 1/2 cup scoop, lightly shape the meatballs with your hands into loose but solid rounds, and place them on the prepared sheet pans, with at least 1" space between each.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. "Sample" one or two hot out of the oven, then smother them with Sunday sauce or marinara, and serve with pasta.