Meatball Sandwiches

I haven’t made meatball subs since¬†December, and that recipe was really good. I do enjoy trying new recipes, and M mentioned that he’d like the meatballs to be smaller to make the subs easier to eat and less messy. These are baked in a mini muffin tin, so they’ll all be nice and uniform in size. The sauce couldn’t be easier – I basically ignored it for two hours and it just reduced down into a rich marinara. Be sure to keep the heat at low in case you’re anything like me and completely forget it for about 40 minutes! I went next door to share some granola with my neighbor and ended up talking for quite some time ūüėČ

Verdict: The sauce was great but the meatballs were lacking in flavor. The meatballs I made for the subs back in December were much more flavorful. These can be tweaked more to suit our tastes, but what made me want to try these in the first place was that they are baked.

Meatball Subs Рadapted from CookEatLove
Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil leaves
  • 3-6 cloves garlic roasted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • drizzle with olive oil, 5 tbs
  • finally, just before serving add 2 tbs of butter to bring layers of flavor to the sauce.
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add crushed tomatoes and raw quarted onions (big chunks). Add  basil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the garlic is done roasting add this as well.  Let the sauce come to a boil, lower heat to low and stir occasionally until desired thickness. Drizzle with olive oil part way through the simmering to taste (I usually simmer for a couple of hours).  Remove the big chunks of onion and just before serving add the butter.
Meatballs: (makes 30)
  • 1.25 pounds ground lean beef (roughly, does not have to be exact, just about those combinations)
  • 1 pound ground pork *see above note
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1¬† tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/2 clove of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used hamburger buns toasted in the oven then grated in the food processor)
  • lukewarm water just to moisten a little more

*bread crumbs for rolling the meatballs in before putting them in the muffin tray is optional – if you decide to, just make extra from the ones you used for the meat mixture

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Combine beef,  pork in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, basil, garlic and salt and pepper. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, a bit at a time until the mixture is quite moist. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds  and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

To Assemble:

*6-8 hoagie buns

*fresh mozzarella cheese

Finally, when you are assembling the meatball subs, use a nice crispier hoagie to absorb some of the tomato sauce.  I dig out a small well in the lower part of the bun to let the saucy meatballs sit. I placed mozzarella cheese in the bottom of the hollowed out rolls, place the meatballs on top and then add sauce and cheese . Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese and then broil the sub so that the cheese is bubbly.  Finally eat.