Meatballs is a very popular dish in Venice Italy and this Italian meatballs recipe is pretty authentic. Exactly the way my mother makes it and you can't get any more authentic than my mother - that's my mamma and me in the photo.
I remember running in after school and getting a whiff of the simmering meatballs. Straight away I tried to sneak a taste only to be shooed away by my mamma with her wooden spoon. She always had a big smile on her face - she loved us enjoying her cooking.
Problem was if you didn't finish your plate then you would really hear it. I got to say though it never happened much. With my mamma's cooking one plate was NEVER enough!
My skinny husband could never get enough and boy can he eat. It was an epic battle - my mamma trying to fatten him up and him happy for her to bring it on.
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The way I like my meatballs, with a tomato sauce, was once not that common here, however, now you will find tomato sauces to be extremely popular throughout the Veneto.
If you'd like a simple tomato sauce recipe that you can adapt to meatballs, simply by leaving out the Parma ham, then check out this one.
Let's get on with the meatballs recipe then...
1 egg lightly beaten
2 slices Italian bread, broken into small pieces
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tblsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tblsp. freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
1 pound of beef mince finely ground
1 Tblsp. olive oil
Ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. oregano
• Soak the pieces of bread in 1/2 cup of milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze them dry. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soaked bread, the beaten egg and mix in the other ingredients.
• Knead the mixture with both hands or beat with a wooden spoon – hands are better as my mamma will gladly tell you. Keep at it until all the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
• Shape into balls about 1 and a 1/2 inches round. Lay the meatballs out on a baking tray, cover them with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
• Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the meatballs over a moderately high heat, keep the balls rolling all the time and keep them round.
• In 8 − 10 minutes, the meatballs should be brown outside and show no trace of pink inside.
• Add more oil to the skillet as needed. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
I serve mine with a tomato based sauce but I leave the choice of sauce up to you. You can use this one if you like - leaving out the Parma ham.
Enjoy your Italian meatballs recipe
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