I grew up with my Italian grandmother and she made the best meatballs ever. I have never been able to replicate these scrumptious little spheres and my family and I speculate that her “secret ingredient” was the almond-scented Jergen’s Lotion she used after she washed her hands. To this day, that scent reminds me of my loving grandmother…a wonderful memory indeed!
We would ask how much of each ingredient she used and she would say – in Italian – “che sanno” – “who knows.” So over the years, we’ve experimented with fancy ingredients and always come back to the simple but fresh ingredients my grandmother used...that she probably purchased at the neighborhood Italian market, DeLuca’s.
Anyway, dear readers, I share my grandmom’s recipe with you, at least how I remember it. If my siblings or cousins have any other information, do chime in!
GRANDMOM C’s MEATBALLS
1 lb. of ground beef
¼ cup of FRESH parsley (please don’t disrespect my grandmom’s recipe by using dried)
¼ cup of chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
A few shakes of bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Add chopped parsley, onion, garlic and egg to the ground meat.
Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
Shape into 1-2” meatballs. You should get 10-12 meatballs from 1 lb. of meat...depending on the size.
Brown on all sides.
Simmer for at least TWO HOURS in tomato gravy…say it after me, GRAVY, not sauce, gravy. Serve on your favorite pasta. Tomato gravy works well on thin pastas, like spaghetti and cappellini. Chunkier sauces work better on ridged, hearty pastas, like rigatoni and penne.
Simple, but oh so good. I made five dozen for an upcoming party at my house.