Italian Meatballs by Chef John

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Italian Meatballs by Chef John
  1. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender, about 15 minutes more.

  3. Gently stir beef and pork together in a large bowl. Add onions, bread crumb mixture, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes; mix together using a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  5. Form mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until browned and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.


Cook’s Notes:

Some recipes use equal portions of beef, veal, and pork, which is also nice, yet more expensive. These days you can find all sorts of lean-to-fat ratios for ground beef. Most stores sell 90% lean, 10% fat, but I prefer the 80% lean, 20% fat ratio for this recipe.

You can substitute water or beef broth for the milk if preferred.

Serve with homemade tomato sauce and polenta.

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