Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil; set aside. Mix the beef short rib, chuck, brisket and fat in a large bowl. Add the bread, garlic, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, chili powder, chili paste, fennel and anise seeds, and oregano; mix until combined. Grind the meat mixture in a meat grinder with a 1/4-inch grind die into a large bowl. Add the wine, ricotta and eggs and mix by hand until combined. (The mixture should be wet and tacky.)
Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and put on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the meatballs are brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Transfer the meatballs to a roasting pan. Pour the crushed tomatoes and their juices over the meatballs, cover with foil and bake until the meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the sauce, 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Scatter the basil leaves over the sauce.
Divide the meatballs and sauce among bowls. Top with grana padano and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with bread, if desired.
Photograph by Joseph DeLeo
Recipe courtesy Nate Appleman for Food Network Magazine