I am excited to share this first post in a string of Italian recipes posts that I made a few weeks ago. These Italian Meatballs are as good, as traditional, and as basic as you get. Meatballs are such a traditional part of the basic Italian dinner. But are they really Italian in there origin. I googled this question and Wikipedia states the earliest mention of meatballs is mentioned in writings from Eastern China around 200 B.C. There are also early Arabic references to meatballs using lamb as its base. The generally accepted Italian origin for the meatball shows up in 400 – 500 C.E. I am not here to debate the origin but the history of food is so interesting to me and often give us new understandings. So we falsely think of the origin of meatballs as Italian because the meatball is so common to spaghetti and meatballs.
This Italian meatballs recipe follows the traditional method of combining bread, spices, eggs, cheese and meat. I used old white bread that I had frozen instead of using store bought bread crumbs. These meatball ingredients are all combined and then rolled into a ball. Meatballs can be cooked in sauce or baked in the oven. I baked these meatballs in the oven.
Italian Meatballs often combine multiple of ground meat. In this case, I used beef and veal. The other ingredients are the basic ingredients in meatballs. I used stale bread in lieu of breadcrumbs and mix them with milk. The meatballs include garlic, eggs and onions. They are spiced with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. The final ingredient is fresh herbs and I used parsley. That is it and these ingredients go so well together.
The cast of characters.
The bread and milk, and then, all the ingredients in the bowl.
The meatballs rolled and placed on the baking tray.
The final meatballs plated.
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup stale white bread
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 1/2 pounds ground veal
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chunky kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 -2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Break the bread into pieces and pour the milk over it in a small bowl.
- Stir them together and set them aside for 10 minutes or so so the bread will soften.
- Mix the beef and veal together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix with your hands until the ground meat is thoroughly mixed with the ingredients.
- Roll the meatballs in your hands into balls and place on a baking tray.
- To bake the meatballs, heat the oven to 350°F.
- Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until they are cooked through.
- Serve and enjoy!