This meatball sandwich is heavenly; it is rich, satisfying and total comfort food....so, live a little and ignore the calories on this one. The aroma of these meatballs, simmering in the sauce, will pull (even the pickiest eaters) from all corners of your house.
For the full size sandwiches, use hogie rolls, or for a crowd, small dinner rolls make great meatball sliders!!
This recipe will feel a crowd, so if you are just feeding the family, cut it in half. Better yet, make the whole recipe and mix the leftovers (the next day) with pasta and parmesan!! I love "day two" recipes.
2 pounds of lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 cup dry breadcrumbs (toasted under broiler)
4 tablespoons fresh parsley (minced)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion sautéed
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Sauté chopped onion and garlic until the onions have mellowed and become a little sweet. Mix them in with all of the other meatball ingredients. Form into 2” meatballs and place on a cookie sheet (that has a rim) and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drain. Set aside.
Even if you cut the meatball ingredients in half...do not cut the sauce in half. You can make this sauce on the range or in the crockpot.
In large deep pan, sauté ½ cup chopped onions and 1 clove garlic until the onions are translucent, and then add
(1) 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
(1) 12 ounce can of tomato paste
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
1 teaspoon of dry basil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ teaspoon of black pepper
½ teaspoon of fennel seed
¼ teaspoon of dry red pepper flakes
Bring to a boil and stir to thoroughly mix everything. Reduce heat to a simmer and put meatballs in the sauce. Simmer for 2 hours (or see crock pot directions below).
TO SERVE: split your bread roll and put just a skim of butter on the cut side and toast it (for just a minute or so) under the broiler. Remove and load with meatballs and mozzarella cheese and put back under the broiler to melt the cheese. Enjoy!!
The recipe ingredients are the same, except use 4 cups of hot water and cook on HIGH for 5 hours. Lay a dish towel over the crockpot lid (to insulate it a little, so it will come to a simmer quicker). Once it comes to a simmer, remove the towel and crack the lid open just a bit so that the sauce will reduce a little.
NOTE: The secret to this recipe is the length of cooking time. The meatballs taste AND texture will be SO MUCH better if you cook for the full amount of time, that's why the crock pot is the perfect method to make these sandwiches.