There’s truly nothing more comforting than beef and pork meatballs swimming in red sauce. Pile it high on a mound of fresh cooked spaghetti and you’re enjoying a world class meal in no time.
Wondering if you need yet another recipe for Italian style meatballs? Maybe not, but I’m on a mission to perfect and share 50 classic home dishes and this meatball recipe just made the cut. When I set out to create this recipe, my priorities were simplicity and flavor. I have a variety of meatball recipes on SepCooks.com (including this version and this cheesy beef classic) but none of them are browned in a skillet, as is tradition.
Since I usually roast my meatballs together in one fell swoop, the extra step of browning each ball had to be worth the effort. To ensure delicious flavor, I used equal parts ground beef and spicy Italian pork sausage. The pork added flavorful fat as well as herbs and spices that cut down on the work.
To let the meaty flavors shine, I dressed the meat simply with sautéed onions, parmesan, and plenty of fresh parsley. A handful of store bought breadcrumbs kept the meatballs moist while one beaten egg held the entire thing together.
The meatballs are absolutely delicious on their own or as part of a meatball sandwich. My favorite technique is to simmer the browned meat in high quality marinara sauce and serve it over a heap of spaghetti.
I hope you cook these beef and pork meatballs really soon, Kenny is already begging me to cook this again!
1 pound hot Italian pork sausage (get the bulk sausage or remove the casings of uncooked sausage links)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
½ cup plain breadcrumbs (store bought is fine)
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus extra for garnish)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Fresh cracked black pepper
For browning the meatballs:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 32-ounce jar of your favorite store brand marinara sauce (I use this)
1 pound spaghetti
1–2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
Add the onion along with ¼ teaspoon salt.
Cook until the onion is translucent and just starting to brown on the edges, 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Turn off the heat and let the onions cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, pork sausage, onion and garlic mixture, parsley, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, and a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper.
Use clean hands to combine the meatball ingredients until homogenous but not over-worked.
Roll the meat into balls using about ⅓ cup of meat each time. Place the rolled meatballs on a baking sheet while you work through the rest of the batch.
Drizzle the olive oil in a large, shallow dutch oven or large saute pan. Heat over medium heat until the meat sizzles when it touches the pan.
Brown the meatballs in the pan, in a single layer, turning them over to brown all sides. About 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer the browned meatballs to a large plate or bowl.
Continue this process until all the meatballs have been browned.
Pour the marinara sauce into the now-empty pan. Swirl a ¼ cup of water in the jar to release all the sauce and add it to the pan.
Nestle the meatballs back into the sauce pan with the sauce. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and let the meatballs cook while you prepare your pasta. Once the meatballs are fully cooked, remove them from the heat.
Cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package, making sure to salt your pasta water.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with a bit of butter and serve on a large plate.
Pour the marinara sauce over the top of the spaghetti and nestle the meatballs into the pasta. Top the whole dish with the reserved parsley and serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.