Phoebe Melnick / Food & Wine
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Serves : 4 to 6

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

How to Make It

Step 1    

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.

Step 2    

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.

Step 3    

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.

Step 4    

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

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