For a better sear, Stefan Bowers of Battalion in San Antonio, Texas presses his meatball mixture into a rectangle and then cuts it into squares, instead of rolling into a ball. Slideshow: More Meatball Recipes 


Credit: Phoebe Melnick / Food & Wine

Recipe Summary test

4 to 6




Instructions Checklist
  • Make the sauce In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the basil, tomatoes and sugar and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with salt. Keep warm.

  • Make the meatballs Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl and using your hands, combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Scrape the meat onto the baking sheet and press into a 9-by-13 inch single layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  • Cut the ground meat into 2-by-2 inch squares. In a large nonstick pan, heat the olive oil. Cook the “meatballs”, turning once, until they are a deep brown and just cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  • To serve, place a spoonful of the pomodoro sauce in 4 shallow bowls. Top with meatballs and garnish with chopped basil and more parmesan.