- TIME 60 minutes
- MAKES 6 servings
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- Heavy cream
- 1 small tub of ricotta
- 2 eggs
- Pecorino romano
- ~3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 onions
- Salt + Pepper
- 2lbs ground beef
- Finely chop the garlic, onions, and parsley and set aside
- In a big bowl **(big enough to hold all of the ingredients)** mix the heavy cream with the breadcrumbs, pecorino, ricotta, and eggs, adjusting the amount of cream/ ricotta to achieve the desired consistency in the mixture
- Add the meat to the bowl, and mix through
- Add the garlic, onions, and parsley to the bowl, along with some salt and pepper, and mix through
- If you're a [legit Italian Grandpa](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INCZGW81kAk), taste the raw mixture to ensure it is properly seasoned **(if you aren't that legit, you can take a small amount of the mixture out, cook it quickly in a pan, and taste that)**
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Form the meat into balls **(I like to make them roughly the size of a lacrosse ball)**
- Place the balls in rows on an oiled baking tray, making sure to leave a little space in between each one.
- Once the oven is preheated, bake for 30 minutes
- Once done, they should be juicy and gently yielding.
- Let the balls cool for at least 10 minutes
- When serving, make sure to top with **(preheated)** sauce, and a big mound of grated parmesan or pecorino.
- We use grass fed beef that is quite lean, so the meatballs benefit from the extra fat of the ricotta and heavy cream. If you're using fattier meat, you can adjust accordingly
- The resultant meat mixture has similar properties to dough. You should play with how "wet" it is to get meatballs to your liking. Too wet, and it's liable to fall apart... too dry, and your balls won't be juicy and silky smooth
- Don't skip the step of tasting the **(raw or cooked)** mixture before proceeding with forming and cooking the meatballs. Since we're not being super precise with our ingredients, it's difficult to gauge the proper amount of seasoning without tasting it.
- When forming the meat into balls, I've found that it's easiest to use a spoon as a scoop, scoop the meat into my hand, and then roll it between my palms, never applying too much pressure. This is when you know if you got the consistency right, because the meat "dough" should be sticky and pliant enough that it is easy to roll into a ball without much pressure, and hold it's shape on its own
- With my trays, and 2lbs worth of beef, the meatball mixture fits perfectly on a single oven tray
- Don't worry if the balls seem a little too giving right when you take them out of the oven. After about 10 minutes of cooling, they will firm up.
- The meatballs can be frozen for later use, and should reheat well
- There are varying schools of thought on whether you should cook the meatballs in the sauce you'll be serving them in **(after the oven cook)** or not. It seems to me that cooking them in the sauce results in a less juicy meatball **(since the juices leak out into the sauce)**, but a more flavorful sauce.
- Spaghetti and meatballs is a canonical format, but I tend to prefer the meatballs with just sauce and cheese, and a side of toasted bread or salad.
- So far I haven't experimented with different meat mixtures, but substituting some of the beef for pork seems like it would work well.
- Using buttermilk instead of heavy cream also seems like it would work well, and add a nice flavor note.
- [The Spuntino Meatball Recipe](https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/meatballs-the-spuntino-way-360130)
- [Pasquale's Meatballs](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INCZGW81kAk)
- [Serious Eats Italian American Meatballs](https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-make-the-best-italian-american-meatballs-in-red-tomato-sauce)
- [Alex, French cooking guy meatball deep dive](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i2vpUBsMqk)