The universe wanted me to make meatballs. I saw signs everywhere. I saw Tyler Florence make his ultimate meatballs, I saw a show on The Cooking Channel that highlighted The Meatball Shop in New York, and of course the numerous blogs that have posted meatball recipes as of late. Every time I saw one, I thought to myself...it really has been a long time since I made some meatballs....so to resolve that, I chose to make them, but not in the way I normally would. For me, there really is nothing better then a big old plate of spaghetti and meatballs...BUT...my second favorite way to eat meatballs, is between two pieces of bread! Now, I will say, I am picky about my meatball sandwiches. I don't like really big meatballs....big meatballs mean big mess...big meatballs mean I'm bound to take a bite and have half of them squirt right out the bottom of the sandwich. I like a manageable size meatball... like a one biter, two if you must. Not that I wouldn't eat a big meatball sandwich, I'm just saying smaller is my preference. And that, my friends, is how I came up with the name...MINI meatball subs!
Ok, now that we are all square on the size I like my balls (lol, oh come on, for those of you that truly know me, you aren't shocked by this statement at all... remember, I still giggle every time they say Super Duty on the Ford commercial!!)... You know what, never mind, maybe I should just share the recipe :)
This recipe makes about 40 (3/4 to 1-inch diameter) smaller meatballs, but, really, go ahead and make them any size you want. We had plenty for 3 sandwiches that night, 1 sandwich the next day, and still enough left to throw over one serving of pasta.
Mini Meatball Subs
makes about 40 - 3/4" to 1" meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 lbs. ground sirloin
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs, plain or seasoned - your choice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the subs:
Marinara sauce - store bought or homemade (see below for a speedy homemade sauce)
4 deli rolls (I like to toast mine, they get less soggy from the sauce that way)
Shredded mozzarella cheese (how much depends on how cheesy you want your sub)
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs. I like to use my hands for this...it's the easiest way to get everything incorporated. Form into whatever size meatballs you prefer - Just remember, the bigger the meatball, the longer they will take to cook - and place in a shallow baking dish; do not crowd.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, over medium low, heat the marinara sauce.
Place meatballs in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. You can under cook them just a bit because they will continue to cook in the sauce. Remove from oven and add to saucepan with sauce in it. Let them simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Place the cooked meatballs and however much sauce you would like on the sub rolls. Cover with mozzarella cheese....and devour!!
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
15-20 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
In a large saucepan or deep skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Let the garlic saute for 1-2 minutes (make sure it does not burn). Add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the basil and simmer another 5 minutes. Now it's ready for the meatballs!!