I can’t remember where I found this Italian meatballs recipe, as I’ve been making it for years and years. It was one of those directions written in a notebook, old-school style, from when I first started to cook. I have never tasted any meatballs that were lighter, fluffier and more full of flavor. The recipe has two steps: broiling the meatballs first until browned on both sides, then simmering for 20 mins in a simple marinara sauce. The browning is very important — you will definitely taste that flavor later, and sealing the meatballs by browning means we don’t need to use eggs.
If you have a freezer stocked with some ground meat and pantry with passata then you’ll be able to make an impromptu yummy dinner in no time.
- 1 lb lean ground beef (Beef is the classic component, but I actually use ground turkey thighs for lighter flavor)
- ½ cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- garlic (4 cloves for me), minced
- Mix all ingredients together, but don’t add all of the water at one time. Mixture should be moist but not so that the meatballs fall apart.
- Shape meatballs to desired size and place on a broiler pan (I wet my hands before shaping each meatball and it helps to make my palms not sticky) Broil until they’re browned on one side and then turn and broil the other side. When finished, add to the marinara sauce and simmer at least 20 minutes.
- Serve with pasta, plenty of fresh sweet basil and more parmesan. And don’t forget a glass of red wine!