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Eat and Drink

Learn to make The Meatball Shop's classic meatballs

Self-proclaimed as America's Meatball Expert, The Meatball Shop's executive chef and co-owner Daniel Holzman teaches us to make meatballs. And they're really good!

Check out our easy step-by-step recipe and whip up a batch for yourself.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds 80% lean ground beef

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

½ cup bread crumbs

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground fennel

Makes about 2 dozen 1 ½ -inch meatballs

Get ready to make some balls...

Get all ingredients ready. Preheat the oven to
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Get all ingredients ready. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Finely chop your herbs

Chop chop chop!
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Chop chop chop!

Combine herbs and meat in a large mixing bowl

Chef Holzman adds them one at a time
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Chef Holzman adds them one at a time -- for prettiness-- but you don't have to. Once you master meatball making, you can sub out the herbs for different flavor profiles, like a Moroccan spice blend or garlic and fennel seed for an Italian sausage riff.

Add your breadcrumbs and eggs

Chef Holzman cracks both eggs at once -
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Chef Holzman cracks both eggs at once - one in each hand - up for the challenge?

It's time to add the cheese!!!

Don't be afraid to give it a squeeze
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Don't be afraid to give it a squeeze before you add the ricotta to the mixing bowl. Holzman likes ricotta because it adds fluffiness and fat to make moist meatballs, but other cheeses like pecorino will make a denser meatball.

Mix it all up!

Rubber gloves are optional, but remember to wash
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Rubber gloves are optional, but remember to wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.

Get your hands dirty!

Knead the meat mixture until it looks like
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Knead the meat mixture until it looks like a giant raw meatball, when all the ingredients are combined.

Fry up a test patty.

Heat a pan with a light coating of
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Heat a pan with a light coating of olive oil and fry up a slider-sized patty of meatball. Cook it through.

Taste it!

Since you obviously can't eat raw ground beef,
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Since you obviously can't eat raw ground beef, this is your only opportunity to see if your meatballs will be delicious. Taste the test patty to determine if your meatballs lack salt or spice and adjust your meat mixture accordingly. You don't want to end up with a batch of 24 underseasoned meatballs!

Measure your meatballs

Use an ice cream scoop to help proportion
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Use an ice cream scoop to help proportion the meatballs to about 1 1/2 inches each, or the size of golf balls.

Roll the balls.

Roll the mixture into round meatballs, making sure
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Roll the mixture into round meatballs, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid.

A perfect tray will look like this:

The meatballs should be touching one another.
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

The meatballs should be touching one another.

Bake your balls.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

While your meatballs are cooking...

Make pasta! Chef Holzman recommends cooking pasta for
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Make pasta! Chef Holzman recommends cooking pasta for two minutes less than the box suggests, draining the pasta and then returning it to the pot to cook in the sauce for a final two minutes. This way, the pasta will absorb the sauce and be perfectly al dente!

Are you ready to eat some meatballs?

They're best served right out of the oven!
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

They're best served right out of the oven! You can also keep the meatballs in the fridge for up to five days or sealed in the freezer for up to three months.

Serve them over spaghetti...

Spaghetti with a chance of meatballs is a
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Spaghetti with a chance of meatballs is a risk we're willing to take.

...or over polenta!

Whatever you do, we recommend The Meatball
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Whatever you do, we recommend The Meatball Shop's classic tomato sauce recipe.

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Two 26-ounce boxes Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or two 28-ounch cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped with their liquid

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Buon Appetito!

Thanks, chef!
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Thanks, chef!

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