Just be gentle when you mix, form and cook this deliciousness… the less handling the better! Enjoy…
1 cup stale breadcrumbs + 2 cups stale breadcrumbs for rolling
1 lb. ground beef, preferably chuck with a high amount of fat content
1 lb. ground pork shoulder
1 small onion, peeled and grated on the large side of a box grater
1-2 large pinches Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
2 pasture-raised eggs, beaten well
Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Handful of Parmesan, freshly grated + more for garnish
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
Peppercorns, freshly ground
More olive oil for cooking
1 28 ounce can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, hand squeezed and with their juice
Fresh basil sprig, in season
In a large bowl combine the ground meat, onion, parsley, eggs, olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, breadcrumbs, Maldon and pepper. Now, with your hands, gently mix everything together until it is combined without overworking it. Put more stale breadcrumbs on a separate platter for rolling and begin shaping the meat mixture into 1+ inch balls, again very gently and without overworking them. Roll the balls lightly on the platter of dry breadcrumbs and set aside until ready to brown.
Next, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom about ¼ inch. Heat oil for a minute or so and then place in the meatballs to cover the bottom of the pan, browning them on all sides and gently turning with a large spoon or tongs to minimize breakage. Carefully remove meatballs from the pan as they are browned, rest them on a platter and continue cooking until all meat balls are browned.
Pour off excess oil from the sauté pan, return meatballs to the pan and add the hand-squeezed San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil sprig. Season with Maldon, partially cover pan with a lid and simmer for about thirty minutes or so over medium-low heat, turning and coating the meatballs with the sauce every once in a while. When the oil floats free of the tomatoes you’ll know the sauce is done.
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and some finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. Serve immediately with rigatoni or other pasta that will marry well with hearty meatballs or make meatball subs…