It has been just over a year since I first published my meatball recipe on the blog. Since that day, it has become my 2nd most popular recipe, next to my Beer Bacon Chocolate Chili. There is only one problem, I never put pictures up with the recipe…which is really a shame because they are quite lovely, as you may note in the picture above…and the picture below….
In the last year, I have refined the recipe to make enough for 2 people (with leftovers), or 4 people for dinner. These have become an old stand by for crockpot days, when I simply skip the baking and just throw the raw meatballs in the slow cooker with sauce and let it go all day. Honestly, I sometimes find myself making these once per week.
I have also refined the sauce that I cook these meatballs in. Seriously, I couldn’t have made it any easier for you guys. Pour a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes in your pan, add 1 tsp sugar, a handful of torn up fresh basil leaves, and let it simmer. Once you add the meatballs to the sauce, they really bring out the light, wholesome flavors of the simple ingredients.
One note, one of the trickier things about this recipe is the layering of ingredients. If you are making them for the first time, you may wonder how that works, so I figured a picture might help:
And like I said last year, the less you handle the meat when it is raw, the better the texture of the finished meatball. So, when mixing the ingredients, work from the edges and kind of fold the mixture into the middle as you go around the bowl.
Homemade Meatballs (Based on Rao’s recipe)
This recipe makes approximately 18 – 1 inch meatballs
- 1 lb Ground beef, ground sirloin or ground pork (or a combination of the 2)
- 1 Large Garlic Clove (crushed)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Egg (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup Water (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup Fresh Reggiano or Pecorino Cheese (grated)
- 1/2 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375
- Place meat in a tall mixing bowl and press into the bowl
- Put garlic on top of meat and lightly rub the garlic around the top of the meat
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper
- Crack your eggs on top of the mixture
- Remember- You have NOT stirred or mixed anything yet, you are layering
- Pour the water over the mixture
- Sprinkle the cheese over the water to make a top layer like a tablecloth
- Cover the cheese with the breadcrumbs
- Now you are ready to mix. Mix from the outside of the bowl to the middle and fold it in.
- After you go around the bowl twice, the mixture should be mixed. Do NOT over handle the meat.
- Roll into your preferred size meatball and place on a greased cookie sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the meatballs begin to brown
- When baking is complete, place meatballs in a pot full of your favorite sauce and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve over your favorite pasta (mine is papparadelle) or on hoagie rolls