Cooking the meatballs in simmering pasta sauce will not only add so much extra flavor to the sauce the meatballs will be melt-in-your-mouth tender, you may of course oven-bake the meatballs for about 25 minutes, --- don't be afraid to add in more Parmesan cheese and a little more milk, there is no need to measure exactly, this recipe is pretty much foolproof, leftover cooked meatballs make a wonderful pizza topping just slice thinly and freeze until ready to use ----- these also make wonderful juicy burgers shaped into patties-- for more of my tried and true recipes check out my food blog at www.kittencalskitchen.com
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef (a mixture of 1 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork will work well also)
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup breadcrumbs (or use enough to hold the meat together (no dry breadcrumbs? just soak 3 slices of bread in the 1/3 )
- 1 -2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (or use 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste)
- 1 -2 teaspoon salt (or to taste, I use 2 teaspoons seasoned salt)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄3 cup milk (can use up to 1/2 cup milk)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional, or to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tablespoons dried parsley)
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Shape into small meatballs (at this point you can place on a jelly-roll/baking sheet and freeze to use later, or cover with plastic wrap refrigerate up to 24 hours before using).
- Drop the meatballs into simmering pasta sauce, do not stir for at least 20 minutes or you will risk breaking the meatballs.
- Continue cooking in the simmering sauce for another 20 minutes (depending on how fast your sauce is simmering 40 minutes total should fully cook the meatballs).
- After the 40 minutes cooking time continue cooking your sauce with the meatballs in for as long as desired.
- **note** you may also bake the meatballs at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
These really are amazing! I come from a large Italian family and it's frowned upon to use anything other than the "old family recipe", which frankly, wasn't very good! Everyone I've made these for (including my dad who still compares everything to his mom's cooking) were skeptical, especially about putting the meatballs in the sauce raw, but they were instant converts after dinner was served! My entire extended family claims these are the best meatballs they've ever had. And that's actually a little funny since I also used turkey instead of beef, which the men in my family generally refuse to eat because they claim ground turkey tastes like cardboard. However, they loooved these even after I fessed up! I've made them using just ground turkey, and when I can find it, I use turkey sausage as well. I also use store bought sauce (another sin in my family!)because it's easier, and the sauce ends up tasting so great that no one has ever complained! My aunts now think I may not be such a failure in the kitchen after all!
I made these meatballs up early this morning following the recipe exactly except I added 1 small onion chopped finely into the meatball mixture. I popped them in the crock pot and added 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can chopped tomatoes and juice. I added onion powder, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper. I cooked on high for about 1 1/2 hrs. to bring it to a boil, then lowered it to low for another 7 hrs. The meatballs were delicious and so tender and yummy. They are easy to throw together and the crock pot didn't heat up the house! Thank you for sharing this winner of a recipe Carol. I can't wait to share the recipe with my family! Linda
Awesome - If I could have given this recipe 15 stars I probably would have. Only deviation I made was I put a small cube of mozzarella cheese in the middle before I baked them. My family scarfed them up. They raved they were the best meatballs ever. Will be making again soon!