Classic Italia Meatballs Recipe

27 January 2020 Bookmark1
A family meatball recipe for traditional Italian-American-style meatballs, with fresh parsley, and garlic.

Personally, meatballs are like Proust’s madeleine, and this old-school homemade Italian meatballs recipe is that the one that you’ll always remember .

Classic Italia Meatballs Recipe
Classic Italia Meatballs Recipe

Like any childhood food , an honest meatball represents a time, place and taste that exists only in memory.

But when prepared in only the proper way — like today, immediately — one bite into a delicious homemade meatball can transport me back to my parents’ Sunday afternoon dining table .

Classic Italia Meatballs Recipe


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • ½ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley or basil (or a mixture of both), roughly chopped
  • Olive oil


  1. Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl and pour the milk over.
  2. Add the egg yolks, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic to the bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Add the meat and parsley. Blend everything together well, using your hands or a large wooden spoon. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup to portion the mixture and roll into balls. They don’t have to be perfect – craggy meatballs have character and hold the sauce better. 
  4. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to coat the bottom and place over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add as many meatballs as will fit in the pan without crowding. They should sizzle as soon as they hit they pan or the pan isn’t hot enough.
  5. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Cover the pan, lower the heat and continue cooking and until the meatballs are firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes total.
  6. Repeat the frying with the remaining meatballs, pouring out the oil and adding a fresh layer.
  7. Serve with homemade tomato marinara sauce or your favorite prepared tomato sauce.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the meats and seasonings and form the meatballs. 
  2. Arrange the meatballs on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake 10 minutes, then turn the meatballs over with a spatula or pair of tongs.
  4. Continue baking until nicely browned and cooked through, 10-12 minutes.


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