Spicy Italian Meatballs

Total Time:
2 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr
1 hr

70 to 80 small meatballs

  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp grater
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, for frying
  • Sauce:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Two 28-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Crushed red pepper, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Special equipment: a chafing dish, optional, and 70 to 80 frilly toothpicks

  • For the meatballs: Combine the ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ricotta, parsley, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic, eggs, milk and black pepper in a bowl. Mash with your hands until thoroughly combined. Form into small balls and place on a baking sheet. Set in the fridge for 1 hour.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches until nice and deep golden, then move them to a plate.

  • For the sauce: Into the same skillet, add the garlic and onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, parsley, tomato paste, sugar, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer another 15 minutes. Keep warm until serving.

  • Transfer to a chafing dish and serve with frilly toothpicks.

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