Italian Meatballs Part Two

Original recipe

1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumb
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

This recipe was no frills, super simple, and totally delicious. Essentially you just slap together all first tier ingredients , form 2 inch balls, dredge in flour, brown in the olive oil, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

I basically stuck to the recipe, but I made a few changes. First, I split the batch in order to try half all-beef and half beef/pork/veal mix (which was on sale). I also substituted parmigiano reggiano plus a pinch of sugar in place of parmesan because it was half the price.

I was really pleased with how they came out. Super moist but with a nice brown crust and extremely flavorful. I would say I preferred the beef/pork/veal meatballs more, but not by much. They were both delicious and the recipe made enough for five servings.

I served it with a Jersey tomato salad, zucchini “noodles” and more parmigiano reggiano.

I definitely foresee this becoming a staple recipe for me. Next time I’ll finish them in some fresh tomato sauce and serve with homemade pasta. Once I learn how to do that, that is.




  1. Since it’s tomato season, you should try slow-roasting some tomatoes (Joy of Cooking, page 312) and garlic (277) at the same time. All you need to do is roughly chop and combine the two, season to taste, and pour over the meatballs (sometimes I simmer them together for ten minutes) and top with some Parmesan. Roasted tomatoes are so good and concentrated… the flavor will rival most sauce recipes with almost no effort and a little patience.

    Please keep up the good work and let us know if you find anything especially good (or bad) about one of our recipes.

    John Becker
    editor, Joy of Cooking

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