- 4 slices of stale bread, torn up
- milk (to moisten bread)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese(divided)
- 1 egg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) or ball cut into 16 pieces
- 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 1/4 cup for sauce
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
Place the torn bread in a small bowl with the milk (make sure all the bread is submerged) and reserve.
In a large bowl, combine the ground meats, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tblsp parsley, half of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, egg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze out the excess milk from the soaking bread (it should be loose and in small pieces) and add it to the meat mixture. Mix everything with your hands to combine.
Divide the meatball mixture in half and score each half into eight sections with the back of your hand. Take one of the portions of the meatball mix and slightly flatten it out in your hand. Place a ball of mozzarella in the center and evenly wrap the meat around, completely encasing it in the meat, repeating and making 16 meatballs total.
Transfer the stuffed meatballs to a baking sheet as you make them. Coat meatballs in 2 tblsp of olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
While the meatballs are cooking, place a saucepot over medium-high heat add the canned tomatoes and break them up with the back of a spoon. Add a little salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and simmer while the meatballs are cooking.
Meanwhile combine 1 tablespoon basil, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, pepper & 1/4 cup of olive oil to make pesto.
Once the meatballs are ready, remove the tomato sauce from the heat and stir in the pesto.
Ladle the sauce into shallow bowls and top with meatballs and sprinkle with remaining grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Things I learned from this recipe-
1. this original recipe calls for ground veal too... i left it out because veal is EXPENSIVE!
2. these meatballs are the bomb!