Note: When I make these, I often prepare and bake the meatballs earlier in the day. To reheat, I place the meatballs in the pot with the simmering sauce and let them warm up together. And since I know someone will ask, the meatballs freeze great. Freeze them, unbaked, on a baking sheet. Once frozen, they can be placed in a freezer-safe ziploc bag. Bake them (without thawing first), adding 6-7 minutes to the baking time. Incidentally, they also freeze great after they have been baked. Freeze them in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and reheat them in the simmering sauce until they are warmed through.
- 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or crushed saltines
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 1/2 cups flour in a shallow baking dish
- 1 recipe French Bread Rolls, shaped into sub rolls and baked according to the recipe
- Sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar (this helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together EXCEPT the meat. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes so the breadcrumbs/crackers can soak up the liquid a little bit. Add the meat and mix well with your hands until all the ingredients are combined.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil. Form golf ball-sized meatballs and dredge them in the flour until lightly coated. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until the meatballs are completely cooked through.
- When the meatballs come out of the oven, let them sit for about 15 minutes. Gently scrape off any fat and place the meatballs in a 9X13-inch baking dish (or similar size). Pour the hot tomato sauce over the meatballs.
- To assemble the sandwiches, slice the buns in half. (If desired, lay the buns flat open on a baking sheet and top one side with cheese – toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 400 degrees until the buns are toasted and cheese is melted.) Place 3-4 meatballs on each bun and top with desired amount of sauce. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.
- For the sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low. Keep warm until the meatballs are finished baking.
Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe