Traditional Meatballs

We don’t do pasta very often, but I really, really love spaghetti and meatballs.  I made these guys with my usual Classic Tomato Sauce and it came out well.  I cooked 3-5 meatballs in the sauce and baked the rest, which worked out well for us since I didn’t bust out the huge stock pot this time.  I have a long-standing meatball recipe I have used (along with my Uncle’s stock pot!), but modified it a bit this time using an Ina Garten recipe and was pleased.  Great, tender meatballs…makes about 12-15 of them, unless you like big ones.


  • 1/2 pound ground veal**
  • 1/2 pound ground pork**
  • 1 pound ground beef**
  • (or use a meatball/meatloaf mix if available)
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Olive oil

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.

Pour olive oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.

In a pot of already simmering sauce, gently place each meatball in the pot, cover, and cook on lowest heat for an additional 25-30 minutes (but you can go longer if you if you like!).

If you choose, you can do half of the meatballs this way and then put them in the sauce, and bake the rest.  If you want to bake, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes.


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