My Grandmother made the most amazing meatballs. They were huge, about the size of a baseball. (Or so they seemed back when I was 10 years old.) One meatball on top of spaghetti with some tomato sauce, and I was set for dinner.
My Grandmother wasn't Italian. I don't know where she got her recipe. And, unfortunately, she passed away long before I learned to cook. I asked around the family; no one knew the recipe, or where they came from.
Pam Anderson to the rescue.
Now that I'm older, a baseball sized meatball seems a little too extravagant.
*Sigh. Being a grownup is no fun. It's all about portion control.
I make my meatballs golf ball sized. A large cookie scoop helps me size properly - when I do them entirely by hand, they wind up between ping pong ball and golf ball sized.
Recipe: Baked Italian Meatballs
Adapted From: Pam Anderson CookSmart
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 2 ½ pounds meatloaf mix (1 ½ pounds ground beef, 1 pound ground pork)
- ½ cup bread crumbs (I use panko style bread crumbs)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium onion, grated or finely minced
- 3 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (1 ½ teaspoons table salt)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix (or 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or ¼ cup minced fresh parsley and 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Mix and shape the meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Stir all the ingredients in a large bowl until everything is evenly mixed. Roll the mix into golf ball sized meatballs, each about ¼ cup. I make my meatballs with a heaping 3 tablespoon scoop, and get about 20 meatballs. Spread the meatballs evenly on a half sheet pan (a 13 by 18 inch baking pan with a rim).
2. Bake meatballs
When the oven is up to temperature, put the pan of meatballs in the oven and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 155°F, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the meatballs rest on the pan for ten minutes, then serve.
- For easy cleanup, line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a Silpat.
- Need some sauce for your meatballs? Try my Weeknight Tomato Sauce
- These meatballs freeze well. Pop them back in the oven, or simmer in the batch of tomato sauce until they're heated through.
- It's stuck in my head. I can't get it out. I have to sing! "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball…".
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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