Becoming Italian 101: From Scratch Meatballs

I have tasted a LOT of meatballs in my time.  I’ve hit up all those chain restaurants, the olive gardens, carrabbas, macaroni grills of this world, and while some are good and some are horrifying, there is nothing that beats a home made meatball.  Points are added if made by a grandma.

I learned this from a combination of my father’s guidance and innate expertise to make my own meatball recipe to have on Sundays, and what else is better than a mid-week meatball sandwich?

Still working on making them actually round, but that will come in time, probably when my kid gives birth.

Get all of your ingredients together and put them into a bowl.

Eggs, bread crumbs, ground meat, seasonings, cheese, fresh parsley

Use your hands and GET IN THERE.  Don’t get too excited about it though- just like hamburgers, you want everything just mixed, or else the meat will get tough.

Embrace the mess

Brown them in a non stick skillet with a bit of olive oil.  This will give them the crispy exterior and prevent a mushy meatball- a nice crispy exterior, with a succulent, tender center.

This is where you need to practice the spherical perfection… where I clearly am lacking in skill

Cook these babies in your favorite pot of sauce for at least 30 minutes, sit back, and feel the fat stubborn Italian grandma spirit overcome you.

Classic Italian Meatballs 

Makes 12-14 meatballs


  • 8 oz ground pork*
  • 16 oz ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • about 1/4 cup grated parmesean or pecorino romano cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Your favorite pasta sauce
*Using all ground sirloin instead of pork will reduce the fat quite a bit, but you will be compromising on flavor and texture.  Also, if ground veal is available to you, DEFINITELY add that into the mix (1/3 pork, 1/3 sirloin, 1/3 veal).
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing until just combined
  2. Roll into even sized balls while a non stick pan is preheating with 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. Brown meatballs (roll them around until all sides are brown and crisp with no pink visible on the exterior)
  4. Cook in pasta sauce for 30 minutes, until tender and cooked through
Damage (1 meatball): 159 calories/3g carbs/11g fat/11g protein/0g fiber


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