Make your own meatballs!

Make your own meatballs!
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Hungry for meatballs? We bet you are. Check out these meatball recipes from two of Brooklyn’s beefiest chefs.

From the guys at the Meatball Shop: Classic Beef Meatballs from “The Meatball Shop Cookbook”

Makes about 2 dozen 1-and-a-half-inch meatballs


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

½ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tblsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. ground fennel

4 cups classic tomato sauce (see below)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs about 1 ½ inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

While the meatballs are roasting, heat the tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often.

When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return the meatballs to the oven and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.

Classic Tomato Sauce, “The Meatball Shop Cookbook”

Makes 7 cups

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or ½ tsp. dried

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 tsp. salt or to taste

2 tblsp. tomato paste

2 26-ounce boxes Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or two 28-ounch cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped with their liquid

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaf, oregano, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for five minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Tom Mylan’s Meat Hook Meatball Recipe

Meatballs are a deeply personal food and everyone has their own ideas about what a meatball should be. Some people like to add raisins, bacon and a host of other stuff to theirs but this recipe keeps it simple, and relies on the quality and flavor of the meat to make these meatballs delicious. Always use the best meat you can get your hands on for any recipe and you’ll come out on top! I like a good amount of cream soaked bread crumbs and parsley in this recipe which was shouted across a busy butcher shop to me by Caroline Fidanza, my former chef and Italian Godmother of all things food.


1 lb. Grass-fed ground beef a little on the fatty side

1 lb. Berkshire ground pork

1 x 4-inch piece of garlic bread

1 cup cream

1 bunch of parsley, chopped fine

4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine

Salt to taste

Toast the garlic bread in the oven at 300 degrees until it is completely dry, let it cool and then chop it into bread crumbs with a food processor or chef knife and add the cream to it in a bowl. While the crumbs are soaking, get your other items together in a large mixing bowl and mix them slightly with your fingers, and then add the cream and bread crumb mixture, and mix thoroughly with your hands. Get in there! Disposable gloves make this slightly less messy. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and get your baking sheet out. Form the meatballs into whatever size you think is best, arrange them evenly on the tray and throw them in the oven, making sure to turn the sheet tray every five minutes or so to get even browning. I pull mine after they are lightly browned and not completely cooked through, and finish them off by simmering them in sauce. I like to serve them with a real Italian Lambrusco (not that crappy jug wine stuff!) and lots of garlic bread. Eat my child! Eat!