Sunday Meatballs


Sunday Meatballs

We talk a lot about Sundays here at the Farmhouse. Not the ice cream kind, but the stock-the-kitchen kind. We’re so grateful that each week has this little coda tacked on to the end–a spacious day, with time for preparing for the week to come. It’s a day for reading the whole paper, for visiting the library, for doing laundry, for pulling weeds, and for paving the way for a week’s worth of great meals. On Sundays, we cook batches of whole grains for tossing with vinaigrette and vegetables when our Farmhouse box arrives or for reheating and serving with a quickly-tossed-together stir-fry later in the week. Sometimes we make stock for risotto and quick pots of soup. We chop and freeze any vegetables that need triage. We grind stale bread and throw in the freezer for breadcrumbs that stand at the ready for quick chicken cutlets. We make slow-cooked oatmeal to warm with a chopped apple for mid-week breakfast. And on the best Sundays, we make meatballs. This brilliant recipe makes a huge batch, bulking up a mere two pounds of meat with homemade breadcrumbs and warm water. They’re light and airy, but sturdy enough for tossing vigorously with spaghetti or pressing into a meatball panini. Dress them up with a sprinkle of cheese or a drizzle of arugula pesto if you will, but we love them served simply with a side of roasted root vegetables, or simply on olive oil-brushed toast. These keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge, or for longer spells (remembering them on your busiest, most stressful weekday will bring an exuberant hallelujah!) in the freezer–just freeze in a zip-top bag, sauce included.
*adapted from Food52

Serves: 4
Total TIme: 35 minutes

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated on a microplane grater
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 c fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 c lukewarm water
  • olive oil for frying
  • your favorite simple marinara sauce–you’ll need about 2 quarts
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil


  1. Place beef and pork in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with garlic, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Add egg mixture to meat and toss to combine. Add bread crumbs and toss again. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time and toss until breadcrumbs absorb the moisture. You might not need all the water, but you’ll be amazed at how much gets soaked up! Make a tiny patty of the meat mixture and fry over medium high heat in a small skillet to check the seasoning. If more salt and pepper is needed, add and toss.
  2. Heat marinara sauce in a large Dutch oven and keep warm while you fry the meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Form mixture into 3″ meatballs and fry in batches until browned on both sides. As they brown, transfer to the marinara sauce. Once all the meatballs have made their way to the Dutch oven, cover and turn heat to low and cook until meatballs are cooked throughout (about 15-20 minutes). Stir in chopped basil leaves–be careful to stir gently to avoid breaking up the meatballs. Serve with al dente spaghetti, or in a meatball sandwich on ciabatta bread.
Posted in Main Dishes

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