Meatballs are a crowd pleasing Italian American invention. Serve as a side dish, on a fat piece of fresh Italian bread or with spaghetti, a good meatball is the proof of a worthy restaurant.


1 pound beef, ground
1/2 pound pork, ground
1/2 pound veal, ground

1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water (some chefs use milk)

1/2 cup olive oil (sauté method)

Marinara Sauce.


Traditional American meatballs are sautéed in a skillet. Prepare a 10-inch skillet and line a shallow baking sheet with paper towels. Add the olive oil to the skillet set to medium.

Broiling is much easier, prepare a broiling pan with an aluminum foil lining.

Place bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, meat, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, pepper, salt and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.

Shape 2 ounces of the meat mixture into balls (about 3-inches).

To sautée, gently place the meatballs in the heated olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until brown. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove the meatballs and place on the prepared shallow baking sheet to drain. Remove the crumbs from the skillet and add more oil if necessary. Repeat this process.

To broil place on a broiling pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until brown. Flip the broiling pan to brown all meatballs evenly and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the meatballs over. Broil for another 4 minutes or until brown.

Simmer the marinara sauce in a 4-quart saucepan. Gently drop the meatballs in the saucepan of simmering marinara sauce and cook until completely warm.

  • Dunking bread into the sauce, allowed.
  • Traditional meatballs are sautéed in a skillet. Try the easier method of broiling the meatballs.
  • Make the meatballs on one day and the sauce on another day.
  • I recommend grass-fed meat.
  • Traditional meatballs use beef for fat, pork for flavor and veal for texture. 
  • Try not to turn the meatballs before 4 minutes. When the texture changes from mushy to firm, the meatballs are ready to turn. The meatballs shrink when cooked.
  • Pack in food storage containers with or without the sauce and freeze for up to two weeks.