For a classic Italian comfort food, try meatballs

Slathered in a plain red sauce or stuffed in a hoagie, it’s all good

My birthday is in September. It’s a time for me to reflect on all of the special events and people in my life. I adore my Italian heritage, and I am a huge fan of the food, which most Italians associate with their heritage.

There are so many memories associated with the food my mother prepared. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy cooking.

Spaghetti and meatballs is a childhood favorite. When the garlic meets the olive oil, it reminds me of helping my mother in the kitchen.

It was sauce day on Sunday. We’d invite relatives over for spaghetti and then play cards afterward.

This month’s column features meatballs with a simple red sauce.

Email with any questions or comments.



2 lbs. 80% ground beef

2 eggs

2 to 3 large minced garlic cloves

1 cup softened bread crumbs with 3/4 cup water

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. I combine the ingredients with my hands and roll them into meatballs, using about 1/4 cup per meatball.

In a medium-low fry pan, heat the olive oil and brown the meatballs on both sides. To avoid crowding the pan, fry the meatballs in batches.

Meanwhile, make your red sauce or use jarred sauce to cover the meatballs, at least 48 to 72 ounces. In a large sauce pan, bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook on low for an hour after adding the browned meatballs. If you don’t gently stir the sauce, you’ll end up with just a meat sauce and no meatballs.

If you don’t want the sauce, form the meatballs into small patties and cook through. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer.

This recipe serves 8 people.

Sandwich with meatballs

Meatballs go well with spaghetti, but I also enjoy a meatball sandwich.

Make a hole in the center of a crusty hoagie roll. Place the roll on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and broil until toasted.

Remove the pan’s top halves, place the meatballs in the bottom half, and top with provolone or mozzarella. Return to the broiler to melt the cheese. If desired, top with additional sauce, grated Parmesan or Romano, and optional crushed red pepper or pepperoncini.

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