Presto Meatballs and Marinara

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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1 slice bread

Milk, for soaking the bread

1 pound ground meat (beef, pork and veal) 

1/3 cup grated Romano cheese 

Handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped 

Big pinch of kosher salt 

Big pinch of freshly ground black pepper 

1 large egg, beaten 

Olive oil, for frying 

Marinara Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 

1 medium onion, chopped 

2 cloves garlic, chopped 

Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh basil, for garnish 

Cooked pasta, for serving


  1. For the meatballs: Put the bread in a small bowl and add just enough milk to cover. Let soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the meat, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, egg and soaked bread to a large bowl and mix lightly with your hands; do not overwork. Form the mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Working in batches, fry the meatballs in the skillet until all sides are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  4. For the marinara sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the Italian seasoning and onions and sweat the onions until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and meatballs, bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh basil.
  5. Serve the meatballs and marinara over your favorite pasta.