My family LOVES Italian sausage. When I crisp up sausage and simmer it in sauce for spaghetti or baked mostaccioli, the only complaint I get from my guys is, I can’t taste the sausage. I kind of agree with them. The flavor does get a little lost in all that sauce. The solution? Meatballs!
If you’re looking for a classic, tender, and flavorful meatball… you’ve come to the right place! This recipe is a keeper for sure. The meatballs can be roasted in the oven or simmered in sauce. Eaten plain or with pasta. They’re the perfect size for a meatball sub! They freeze well, too. One full batch of this recipe makes enough for two meals for my family of five. Three adult eaters and one toddler eater approve. One just looked at them because apparently she hates my food. (Her words, not mine.) On that note, 4 out of 5 eaters approve. I hope you enjoy them, too.
yield: about 66 meatballs
1 cup milk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
1 lb ground Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon each basil, oregano, and parsley
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
Combine the milk with breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Allow a couple of minutes for the milk to be absorbed into the breadcrumbs. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Using your hands, mix together until mixture just comes together and looks uniform, being careful not to over mix. Use a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon) to scoop out 1.5-inch balls. Roll between hands or leave as is from the scoop (like me).
To roast (my preferred method): Place meatballs slightly apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Roast in a 400° oven until browned and cooked through. About 25 minutes. Meatballs can be served in your favorite marinara sauce over spaghetti or eaten plain.
To cook in sauce: Bring your favorite sauce to a simmer in large shallow pan. Place meatballs in the sauce allowing a little room for each meatball. Cover and simmer 30-35 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (165° internal temp).
To freeze cooked meatballs: Roast meatballs as directed above. Allow to cool. Transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Meatballs can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or reheated right from the freezer. To reheat, simmer in sauce or warm in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
To freeze uncooked meatballs: Shape meatballs as above. Space slightly apart on parchment lined sheets. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until meatballs are solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, with meatballs in spread out in a single layer. Cook as directed above.