Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
My family---from the small hill town of Montefredane, near Avellino in the province of Campania--has been doing it this way for generations. Don't mess with it. Try it this way once. You won't be disappointed!!
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 2 cups wet stale Italian bread or 2 cups breadcrumbs (see instructions below)
- 3 eggs
- 1⁄2-1 cup milk (see instructions below)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley or 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves minced garlic or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- olive oil or corn oil, for frying
- 2 (29 ounce) cans tomato puree
- 1 (29 ounce) can water
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1⁄8 cup red wine or 1⁄8 cup sugar
- 1 dash red pepper flakes, maybe (HALT!! Add no more spices!)
- It's preferable to use the stale bread rather than the bread crumbs.
- Break it up and soak it in warm tap water until is starts to soften.
- Squeeze it with your hands to get out excess water, then"smush" it with your fingers.
- Use the lesser amount of milk if using the wet stale bread.
- Use the greater amount if using the bread crumbs.
- Mix all the meatballs ingredients well.
- Form into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Slightly flatten each meatball.
- Brown very well in hot oil on both sides.
- (Can also be baked on an oiled pan in a 425 degree oven. Need to be turned to brown both sides).
- Add the gravy ingredients to a large pot and add the browned meatballs.
- Bring to a gentle boil then simmer.
- 1 1/2 hours is probably enough, but the longer, the better.
- Even better heated over the next day.
- *You can also add Italian sausage to this.
- Brown it well in the same pan in which you've browned the meatballs then add to the gravy pot.
- You need to probably simmer the sauce for AT LEAST 1 ½ hours if you add sausage to make sure the sausage is cooked through.
This was great... I made enough to feed 50 people for a family reunion....big hit!! Freezes great.. I always make a huge pot and freeze.