Meatballs in marinara

Meatballs in Marinara - The Reluctant Hippie

Meatballs = magical for Baby Hippie. He will eat them in any flavor, any form, any sauce. I’m not a huge fan, so I had never made them from scratch. And I think that’s why I *wasn’t* a huge fan, because after I made these, I love meatballs.

I adapted this recipe from the Food Network, and I will be making it again, and again, and again. BH declared this dish to be “Delissimo.”


  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • Marinara sauce (see below)


  1. In large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread crumbs and let them sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb the liquid.
  2. Add meat, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and eggs. Combine with your hands, then form into 24 golf-ball-sized balls.
  3. Heat 1/2 of the oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the meatballs and brown on all sides. Transfer meatballs to a plate, drain fat, wipe the pan, then repeat the process with remaining oil and meatballs.
  4. Return all meatballs to the pan, pour marinara over them. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until meatballs are fully cooked (the cheese will get melty) – about 15 minutes.

Quick Marinara Sauce


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (28-oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in large stock pot. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions turn translucent, then add garlic and thyme. Cook for an additional minute, stirring.
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, a few grinds of pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Source: Adapted from Food Network. The adaptations are mostly because my meat CSA doesn’t do veal. Which is one of the reasons that they are my meat CSA.


One thought on “Meatballs in marinara

  1. Pingback: Finger Foods for Parties | The Reluctant Hippie

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