So about the subs – Before this, I had never made homemade meatballs or marinara sauce. I think I was just afraid because making a perfect sauce and an amazing meatball is actually a science. People spend their lives trying to come up with the perfect recipe (ok maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m sure there’s someone out there like that). I had been admiring a recipe from a blog called The Yummy Life for ages, so I thought I’d give that a try. All I knew about making meatballs before this was that you absolutely have to use both pork and beef. It’s the only way to make it tender and not tough. I just played around with the sauce until I thought it tasted good, mostly because I didn’t want to use some recipe that had a million of expensive ingredients.
All I have to say is make these meatballs! They are so delicious! Just make sure you add enough salt. I didn’t the first round and they weren’t as good. (but it’s not like you can taste the raw meat, so it’s tricky) It’s amazing the difference a little salt can do. The sauce was also really good. I personally prefer a really fresh sauce with minimal ingredients. It’s less overwhelming and doesn’t mask the flavor of the meatballs, so I think I did a pretty good job. It’s also just fun to say you made it yourself instead of using a jar (even though that stuff is good, not gonna lie. I’m a Classico fan myself)
Homemade Meatballs and Marinara
The meatball recipe is adapted from a blog called the Yummy Life It’s set up a lot like mine in that she takes a lot of pictures and gives a step by step tutorial on how to make them yourself. She also has a feature where you can print the recipe, which is seriously cool. I wish I could figure out how to do that! I cut the recipe in half and still had enough to feed three people for two separate meals. The first night I made spaghetti and the next I made subs – the subs where definitely the winner!
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tablepoons water
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- ½ medium onion, finely minced
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
- About ¾ lbs. ground pork
- About 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
- ½ can peeled, whole tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato puree
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- About a tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 375˚.
- In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, water, buttermilk and breadcrumbs and let sit for 10 minutes. The breadcrumbs will absorb the liquid and the mixture should become thick.
- After the mixture has thickened, mix in the garlic, onion, parsley, cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the two meats and gently mix them together with your hands (you can use a fork but I think using your hands is most effective).
- Pour the breadcrumb mixture into the large bowl and mix together with your hands until fully incorporated. (don’t do this too much though because you want the meat to stay tender and as underworked as possible – it’s just like making cake batters or cookie dough)
- Form the meatballs using an ice cream scoop (or just your hands) and place them on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After the meatballs are cooked I used a spatula to lift the meatballs off of the tin foil before they had time to stick. (They stuck the first time and it was harder to get a full meatball off the foil without it tearing in half)
- For the Red Sauce: In a large pot over medium heat, lightly brown the garlic in olive oil. Then add the chopped onions and sauté until they are translucent.
- Pour in the tomato puree. Crush the peeled, whole tomatoes with your hands above the pot (and be careful because this part makes a mess!)
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until combined. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. (How long you cook it actually isn’t imperative. I just made it first and cooked it until the meatballs where finished.)