Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grammy's Italian Meatballs

Like my Mom used to make...

Okay, I'm taking a few liberties with the heading one makes meatballs like my mom used to make.  She had no recipe, just threw everything in a bowl and out would come the most delectable meatballs ever to grace spaghetti sauce!   She did have me around to help, though.  I was her official "Taste Tester!"  

Now, don't get your knickers in a knot, but she'd mix it all up and then I'd hear, "Angela, honey, come taste the meatball mix and see if it's alright!"   I couldn't get to the kitchen fast enough!  Yes, the mixture was raw...yes, there was raw pork in it...yes, there were raw eggs in it too!  Yet, here I am, a lifetime later, to tell you about them. 

Mom never used bread crumbs either, she soaked hard bread in water and crumbled it into the mixture with her fingers.  My grandmother taught me a trick with the bread crumbs...add water to them first in a separate bowl and stir until it's just "wet bread."   Works great!

Mom in the middle, my brother, Ernie next to me and across was Grandma and Aunt Rita
I was raised in an Italian household where "sauce on Sunday" was considered mandatory.  Coming home from church always meant fried meatballs were on the breakfast menu.  Mom would save us two each, and the rest went into the sauce.   Her sauce was the best too!   

My kids grew up on Grandma's meatballs in miniature.  She'd painstakingly take small amounts and fry little, mini-meatballs for them.  They would eat them like popcorn.  When my grandchildren came along, I did the same for them.  It does take a little more time and patience to do these for the kids, but try it for your own little ones.  I guarantee they'll love it and you'll make a priceless memory.


2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
2-3 Tbsp. finely minced fresh garlic (sometimes I use Granulated  Garlic)
3 eggs
1 c. grated Romano Cheese or Parmesan
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 3/4 c. water (approx.)
salt & pepper to taste

Mix ground beef, pork, garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley together in a large bowl until blended. (Use your hands to mix meatballs, never a mixer.)

Add enough water slowly to the bread crumbs to make them moist and soft, but not soupy!   Mix bread crumbs into meat mixture 1/2 at a time.  (Use more or less for desired texture.  It's all about how it feels to the touch.)   Mix should be soft, but firm enough to form a nice round ball.

Lightly fry meatballs in Mazola oil (the only kind Mom would use), turning them once to brown on each side.  Place in paper towel-lined bowl to drain, then drop into your favorite spaghetti sauce. 

Let meatballs simmer in sauce for about an hour.

*Remember, this recipe is about approximates!  You can always taste the mixture to see if you need more of anything...or call me and I'll taste it for you!  Heehee!

"If we prayed as much as we worried we would have a lot less to worry about."  -Rick Warren

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