When Nicholas started eating solids, (and I mean real food, not the purees that I had been making him), one of the first things I wanted to make him was spaghetti and meatballs. It was one of my favourite comfort foods when I was younger and I still really enjoy it.
These meatballs are similar to a classic Italian-American style meatballs. The texture of the meatballs is made much softer and less dry with the panade, a mixture of fresh bread and milk. This recipe has found a regular spot on the dinner rotation at our house. It’s simple, filling, and delicious. We like to make a large batch of these (see tips on this below) so that we can freeze some to have on-hand for easy, weeknight dinners.
- 1/2 onion, small dice
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 3 slices of fresh sandwich bread (small dice) (110g)
- 1/3 cup milk (80g)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan (25 g)
- 600g ground meat
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- large shallow frying pan
- whisk/ spatula
- half baking sheet
- purple portion scoop/ measuring spoons/ scale
- Heat a small pan, add the oil and soften the onion and garlic by cooking on low heat until translucent. Let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, add bread and milk, and let it sit for 10 minutes or until completely moist.
- Add onions, garlic, salt, egg, parmesan and any other seasoning to the bread mixture. Mix well.
- Add ground meat to the seasoned bread mixture and mix.
- Using a spoon or a purple portion scoop, shape into individual balls.
- Heat oil in a large pan and shallow fry meatballs until golden brown.
- Once they are cooked, add the sauce of your choice.
- For more of an Italian style meatball, add fennel seeds, oregano and parsley
FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:
- Pan fry one meatball to check the seasoning before shaping and cooking the whole batch, you can still easily make adjustments at this stage. with the seasoning of the meatball.
- To make the meatballs more uniform, I used a purple portion scoop and it yields roughly 33 small meatballs, you can also use a scale if you’d like.
- For bigger batches, I like putting everything on a sheet tray and broiling on high for roughly 8 minutes per side.
- To avoid bigger chunks of bread, or perhaps onion, you can put the mix into the food processor before you add in the meat.
- For the ground meat, my preference is a mix of veal, pork and beef is preferred, they often sell a package with all three at our local grocery store.
- Simmer the meatballs in your sauce to enhance the flavour of your sauce.