When you want to go to Italy, but your bank account won’t let you!
Slow simmered pork and beef meatballs, parm, fresh basil and mozzarella on a soft pillowy ciabatta bun. What more could you ever ask for?
The Ultimate Meatball Hero
Slow simmered pork and beef meatballs, fresh tomato sauce on a soft ciabatta bun with mozzarella and basil. Let’s go to Italy!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 c grated parm
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- 1 slice bread
- 1/4 c milk
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 jar favourite tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 c water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6-8 large basil leaves
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Peel and chop your 2 cloves of garlic. Set aside.
In a small frying pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and your diced onion. Cook until onions are translucent, then set aside.
Using a small cereal bowl, place your slice of bread and pour the milk on top. Let sit for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, add your ground beef, pork, 1 egg, parsley, salt, pepper, panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
- Gently squeeze the milk out of the bread and add the soaked bread ball to your meat mixture.
Add your cooled cooked onions to the meat mixture.
Gently mix the beef/pork ingredients until formed. Don’t overwork it or your meatballs will be tough. Roll into balls and let rest on a plate. You can also cover with cling wrap and put in fridge to “marry”, for an hour or so. This also helps them form up so frying will be easier.
In a large stockpot, add 3tbsp olive oil and heat to medium. Add your garlic, stirring the whole time so it doesn’t burn. Pour in your jar and a half of sauce and incorporate with garlic. **You can totally make your own sauce, but this is a perfectly acceptable shortcut. I like to buy just a red marinara sauce, nothing added, then “doctor” it myself!
Tear a few leaves of basil and add to sauce, salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar to cut down on the acidity, and my secret a splash of balsamic vinegar. Let the sauce “do it’s thang” on the burner/low while you cook the meatballs.
FRYING THE MEATBALLS:
In a large frying pan (preferably non stick), add 3 tbsp of olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. Once the oil comes up to temperature, using tongs add your meatballs to the pan, making sure not to crowd it. You are best to do this in batches. Fry all sides, until the meatballs have a nice caramelization and are “formed”. Once each batch is finished, transfer into the waiting pot of sauce.
Once your meatballs are all semi cooked and into the sauce, don’t try to stir them around as they’re not quite cooked yet. They’ll finish in the pool. Cover the sauce pot and let bubble away on low, then simmer for a couple hours. The meatballs will continue to cook through and flavour your sauce. Get ready, your house will smell amazing!
While the sauce is cooking, slice your ciabatta buns in half, then slice your fresh mozza into 1/2″ slices. Tear your basil and you’re ready to go! **If you want to completely make these decadent, spread each roll with a little garlic butter before you assemble.
Assemble your heroes. 2 sliced meatballs per roll, 2 slices of mozza and 2 leaves of basil. Top and enjoy! LOTS OF NAPKINS and MAYBE a fork and knife needed.
Enjoy! Meg xo