Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
Mario warns that Italians would not normally serve meatballs with pasta.Once that American meatballs were ruined by an over-abundance of wealth. In Italy, meatballs were invented to make meat stretch further when times were tough – cheaper ingredients like eggs and bread were added as fillers.
- 3 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1⁄4 lbs ground beef
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3⁄4 cup pecorino cheese, grated (I used parmesan cheese)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Cover bread crumbs with water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the bread cubes and squeeze out extra moisture.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, beef, eggs, garlic, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper and mix by hand just until mixed (do not over-work the meat!). With wet hands, form the mixture into 12 to 15 large meatballs, each of a size somewhere between a tennis ball and a golf ball. (I went ahead and made mine a bit smaller, so I wouldn’t have to worry about them getting completely cooked through in a skillet.).
- In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch.
If you like meatballs that are punky, full of breadcrumbs, and tasteless - then "Mario's" is the recipe for you. I have high regard for Mario Batali., love his show, have made many other recipes of his. This one is a dog. I suspect someone changed it, reposted this, never really tried, or worse - had in it for M.B. I have now made this three times, and each time, they come out just as bad.