(adapted from smittenkitchen.com) 

You can never go wrong with meatballs.  And putting them on a roll? Even better.  This recipe is a little more intensive than the others, but hey, if a bunch of college frat boys can make it (which they did, and they were incredible), so can you. Enjoy!

Level: Advanced

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Servings: 18 meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

18 small, soft rolls, split horizontally

1. Mix all meats, panko crumbs, 1/2 cup water, 6 tablespoons cheese, egg, egg yolk, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
2. Compact and roll into 18 2-inch meatballs.

by Alia Wilhelm

by Alia Wilhelm

3. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan/skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Place meatballs (5 or 6 at a time) on the skillet and fry in the oil until meatballs are brown all over.

5. Transfer meatballs to plate.  Pour excess oil from skillet (into sink, wherever).

by Alia Wilhelm

6. Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil to skillet.
7. Add onion, garlic, basil, and fennel seeds. Sauté the vegetables until onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes).
8.  Add all tomatoes with juices.
9. Bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan and incorporating them into sauce.
10. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover with lid slightly ajar.
11. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
12. When sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, puree it in food processor until almost smooth
       *No food processor? Use a blender. 

by Alia Wilhelm

13. Return sauce to the same skillet and add the meatballs.
14. Cover the skillet with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes more.
15. When ready to serve, place on meatball on a roll, drizzle with sauce and some cheese, and indulge.

by Alia Wilhelm


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