Meatballs and Sauce

Carmine's Restaurant Recipe

Makes about 8 servings

10 cups marinara sauce (See Recipe)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, such as chuck with 20% fat
1/2 pound ground veal
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices firm white bread, crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and diced small
hot cooked pasta of your choice
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic, divided

Marinara Sauce:
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup freshly chopped basil
4 (28 oz.) cans whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup grated Romano cheese

Prepare marinara sauce and set aside.

Make meatballs: In a large bowl, use hands or a wooden spoon to mix together the beef, veal and eggs. Add bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt, 1 teaspoon garlic and pepper and mix well. Tear bread into pieces and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and let sit 5 to 7 minutes or until milk is nearly absorbed. Add bread to meat mixture and use your hands or a wooden spoon to incorporate. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat mixture is firm.

Use an ice cream scoop, remove chunks of meat and roll between dampened palms into meatballs, each weighing about 3 ounces. You should get about 24 meatballs. Refrigerate meatballs for at least 10 minutes.

To saute: Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add meatballs and cook about 10 minutes, turning them gently until they are browned on all sides. (Do in batches if needed.) When done, transfer them to a platter and set aside. Drain excess grease from pan.

In same pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and reserved garlic and saute 5 to 7 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, in a pot large enough to hold both meatballs and sauce, heat marinara sauce over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce boils slightly. Stir in onion and garlic mixture.
Add browned meatballs and any accumulated juices and cook over medium heat about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not cover while cooking.) Add remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Remove from heat and set aside 45 minutes or until they have had ample time to mellow and flavors of the sauce and meat intermingle. Serve over pasta of your choice.

Marinara sauce: In a 5 quart pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until it browns, being careful not to let garlic burn. Add parsley and basil and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and break up tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Cook about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until it thickens.

Remove from heat and fold in cheese. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 weeks. If storing sauce for later use, don’t fold cheese in until you’re ready to use it. You will have additional sauce left over.

To store: Let cool in the sauce, then transfer batches of the meatballs and sauce to tightly lidded storage container and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

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