Dan Holzman of NYC’s Meatball Shop skips browning his meatballs to make the dish easier. Instead, he simmers them right in the delicious tomato sauce.
Slideshow: More Meatball Recipes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 carrots, sliced 3/4 inch thick (3/4 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
6 oregano sprigs
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes with their juices,
crushed by hand
Pinch of crushed red pepper
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground veal
3/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup Italian-style dry breadcrumbs (2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (1 ounce)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
Grated Grana Padano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the tomato sauce
In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, oregano, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 minutes. Season with salt and keep at a bare simmer.
Step 2 Meanwhile, make the meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the Grana Padano and mix by hand until well incorporated. Using a 1 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop (3 tablespoons), scoop 24 meatballs (1 1/2 inches in diameter) and roll into neat balls.
Add the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Braise in the oven until firm and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and oregano sprigs. Serve the meatballs and sauce with Grana Padano on the side.
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