Makes approximately 25 meatballs

Picture of Meatballs



  • 1 lb. veal clod, ground
  • 1/2 lb. chuck roast, ground
  • 1 lb. pork shoulder, ground
  • 2 oz. fat back, finely cubed
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, finely cubed
  • 1/2 lb. day old white bread, crust removed, finely cubed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons cup red pepper flakes
  • 3 3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin (optional)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cup salt
  • 4 whole eggs, beaten well
  • 1/2 lb. ricotta
  • 1/3 cups parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Tomato Sauce

  • 900 grams San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled/sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup basil (bruised and torn)


For the Meatballs

Thoroughly mix together all the meat, fat back, and prosciutto with cubed bread, fennel seed, red pepper, oregano, parsley, cumin (optional), and salt thoroughly.   

Fold in beaten eggs, ricotta, parmesan, and milk.  Sear off a pinch of the mixture, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Form into meatballs about 2 inches in diameter. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and sear the meatballs evenly on all sides on medium-low heat.  Cover and braise in tomato sauce (recipe below) at 300°F for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. 


For the Tomato Sauce

Put the canned tomatoes (juice too) through ricer. 

 In a pot, sautée the garlic in the olive oil until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano, cook briefly until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar. 

 Simmer for 1 hour. 

 Toss in bruised basil leaves, stir, and take off the heat to steep. 

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