I very gently mixed lean ground pork and beef with finely grated onion, minced garlic, freshly grated parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs (which are Japanese rather than Italian, but they're the best,) marjoram, crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and a couple of beaten eggs, and chilled it for about 15 minutes. I then lightly rolled about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture between my palms to form the balls.
After browning the meatballs on all sides in a little bit of olive oil, I threw them into Jeff's simmering spicy homemade tomato sauce for about 15 minutes to heat them through.
Ladeled generously over some fresh spaghetti, these saucy meatballs were just what I wanted. Moist and flavourful, they held together well without being too compact. Bellissimo!
But that wasn't all, folks; the next day, I had grand plans for the tasty leftovers. While I reheated the meatballs on the stove, I put a loaf of crusty bread in the oven to warm it up, cut it into two pieces, and then sliced it, taking care to leave one edge intact. To make a pocket, I used a spoon to scoop out a lot of the warm bread (which Jeff and I happily snacked on) and spread a bit of garlic butter on the inside of it.
I filled the bread with provolone cheese and the warmed up meatballs and sauce, and put the sandwiches back in the oven for a few minutes. Once the cheese was good and melted, Jeff and I eat the best lunch ever.
I totally recommend going through the trouble of making your own meatballs, just so that you can experience the likes of this sandwich. You will burn the roof of your mouth, but you will not care. Oh, I can still taste it: the crunchy bread, the tender meatballs, the spicy sauce, and the gooey cheese, all melded together into a mouthful of heaven. I am changed.
Meatballs: The Recipe
Amanda's notes: Be careful not to over-mix! Once the ingredients are just incorporated, and after letting the mixture sit, wet your fingers with water and roll each meatball very gently in the palm of your hand.
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely grated onion
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Bring tomato sauce to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, gently mix all ingredients. Let mixture sit in fridge for 15 minutes. Form balls out of 2-3 tbsp of mixture. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook meatballs in batches, turning every few minutes to brown all sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce, covering and turning heat to low, to finish the cooking process (10-15 min.) Serve over spaghetti or in a sandwich. Enjoy!