Cooking with Rocco
by Cooking with Rocco
20 Meatballs
35 min

Every Italian has their own meatball recipe, and every Italian will tell you that their meatballs are the best. Well I’m here to tell you that everyone has been lying to you, because my meatballs are the absolute best. These meatballs are tender, they’re juicy, and they’re covered in a classic pomodoro sauce and copious amounts of parmigiana.

They're so easy to make. Just add all the ingredients to a medium-size bowl, mix until fully combined, then roll them out into 2oz balls. Once they're rolled out, bake them in a 425º oven for 17 to 20 minutes. You can easily double or triple this recipe, and then freeze your leftovers and use them for a quick an easy weeknight meal!

Try them…I dare you!

Recipe details
  • 20  Meatballs
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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  • 1 pound ground angus chuck (at least 80/20)
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup sturdy Italian bread, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or pressed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiana
  • 1/2 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese (optional)

If roasting your meatballs, preheat your oven to 425º, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If frying, set a medium to large sized skillet with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
In a small bowl, add the sliced/cut Italian bread along with the whole milk. Let the bread soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes, soaking up all the milk.
Once the bread soaked, use your hand to squeeze some of the milk of of the bread. Then place the bread in a medium size bowl along with the meat. Next add the fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, eggs, Parmigiana, Calabrian chili, salt, and ricotta (if using).
Using your hands, mix the meatball mixture until fully combined. Don't over mix, or your meatballs will be dense.
Once combined, roll each meatball into 2oz size balls and place on the parchment lined baking sheet (a little bigger than the size of a golf ball).
If bakings, transfer the meatballs to the upper third rack of your oven, and roast for 17 to 20 minutes. If frying, heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is hot. Once hot, carefully add the meatballs one at a time and fry for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally so all the sides brown.
Once done, remove from the oven and serve with your favorite pomodoro sauce.
  • You can swap 1 cup Italian bread for 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs. You then want to soak the breadcrumbs in about 1/3 cup of whole milk.
  • You can swap the Parmigiana for Pecorino. But then decrease the salt to 1 teaspoon.
Cooking with Rocco
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  • If I can get the veal at less than $25 per pound, I'll give this a try. Very similar to my European parents and grandparents recipe. And even into my 20's the average grocery store packaged beef, pork and veal as a meatloaf blend. Like the addition of the Calabrian chili. And agree, over mixing turns them onto bowling balls. My personal preference is roasting or grilling. Thanks for sharing and will try this recipe soon! I cook for nine people daily and always looking for something different so we don't get stuck in a rut.