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
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.
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.
The meatballs can be refrigerated in the sauce overnight and rewarmed before serving.
Concentrated, medium-bodied Italian red.