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Home Cook: Anna Salerno Ridgewood, N.J.
I tweaked the meatball recipe that my parents have been using for nearly 40 years by using Panko crumbs instead of fresh breadcrumbs ... mainly because I rarely have French bread on hand ... but other than that, it's the same recipe they brought with them from Italy when they moved here in 1977.
Recipe: Anna’s Meatballs and Sauce
For about 24 meatballs
- 1 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp each garlic and onion powders, dried basil and dried oregano, ground pepper
- 2 tsp Kosher salt and dried parsley
- 2lbs Ground beef
- 1lb Ground pork
- ½ cup Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, milk, garlic and onion powders, dried herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Let mixture sit for a few minutes until milk is completed absorbed into breadcrumbs.
- Add meats, cheese and eggs and gently mix together with your hands until it is combined.
- Using a medium scoop, scoop out meatballs about an inch apart onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and gently transfer to pot of sauce.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves sliced or minced
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 8 oz red or white wine
- 2 – 28 oz cans of crushed or whole tomatoes (if whole, blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until the tomatoes are broken apart)
- 1 tbsp of dried basil, dried oregano and ground pepper
- 2 tbsp of dried parsley
- Salt to taste
- Add the olive oil to a large pot and turn heat to medium.
- Add diced onion and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly so that the onions cook evenly.
- Add garlic, stir and cook for one minute.
- Push onions and garlic to outer edges of pot and add the tomato paste to the center.
- Turn up heat to medium high. Do not stir for about a minute so that it can carmelize but make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Stir together tomato paste and onions and cook for three minutes. Add wine to pan and combine with onions and tomato paste.
- Let it cook for three minutes and then add the crushed tomatoes.
- Lower heat to medium and add herbs and pepper.
- Add meatballs when they come out of the oven and lower heat to low.
- Cook at low for about 45 minutes. Do not boil or meatballs will become tough. Add salt to taste and your sauce is done.