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Carbone Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Meatballs (makes 24)

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for garnish)

2 Tablespoons chopped garlic

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 Yellow onion, diced

salt TT

2 Cups sturdy white bread, crusts mainly removed, cut into 1/4" cubes- stale bread is great

1 ½ cups whole milk

2 pounds ground beef

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 pound ground veal

2 whole eggs

1 + 1/4 pound piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more to garnish

olive oil

For the Meatballs

1. Heat the oven to 300° F.

2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. After a minute, sweat the garlic until aromatic and almost softened, around 1 minute. Add the parsley, onions, and a large pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Reserve.

3. Make the panade: Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and toss. When the bread is completely saturated and softened, mush it together with your hands. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, sausage, veal, eggs, onions, garlic, parmesan, a pinch of salt, and the panade. Mix, using your hands, until evenly combined. Portion into 3 1/2 ounce meatballs.

5. Heat a wide skillet over high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with the neutral oil, and heat until shimmering. Working in batches, sear the meatballs until deeply brown on all sides, around 3 to 5 minutes per, making sure not to crowd the pan. Reserve the browned meatballs in a roasting pan.

6. Top the meatballs with the tomato sauce and slide the pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, until the meatballs are just cooked through. Reserve, warm, until ready to serve. Serve meatballs three to a plate, garnished with a large spoonful or sauce, a drizzle of oil, and an additional sprinkling of cheese.

Tomato Sauce

¼ cups olive oil

2 cloves garlic

a few stalks fresh basil

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes- Carbone uses Jersey Fresh brand tomatoes

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1. Combine oil, garlic and basil in a very small saucepot and warm over medium heat. After 3 to 4 minutes, when the edges of the garlic start to bubble and the aroma of basil is strong, remove the pot from the heat and let it steep for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, salt and sugar in a saucepot over medium heat. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn the heat and cool.

3. Strain the garlic-basil oil into the tomatoes, stir, and use or store as desired.