Grossy's Meatballs

Makes 8 gigantic meatballs.


On any given day I can call Bimpy up and ask him what he's doing, and he is most likely to reply "making meatballs?" in a tone that questions the audacity of my question. Bimpy's meatballs were a part of every single meal our family ate at his house. I learned a lot from watching him make them, and as I began cooking my own meatballs in my early 20s, I kept a lot of what he taught me in my recipe (like the raisins, which are an old Sicilian meatball tradition) and added a few elements of my own. If you are new here, this is basically how all my recipes come to be: a respect for at the past with a dash of the present.


I have made these meatballs one million times, but when asked for the recipe I would say "sorry, it's all in my head" like a classic Nonna who just cannot be bothered with measurements. I have spent an extra amount of care to test the measurements in this recipe, as I wanted to make sure I had it perfect! In reality, though, my hope is always that you take my recipes and make them your own, just like I did here with Bimpy's recipe.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


Grossy's Marinara

1 ½ lbs ground beef (85% lean because we need that fat)

1 ½ lbs ground pork

1 ½ cups plain panko

Large handful of chopped fresh basil

Large handful of chopped fresh mint

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


Break up your ground meat into chunks in bowl. You need 3 lbs of ground meat for this recipe. I typically use 1 ½ lb ground beef (around 85% lean because we need that fat) and 1 ½ lb ground pork.


Prep the rest of your ingredients for your meatballs:

1 ½ cups plain panko

Large handful of chopped fresh basil

Large handful of chopped fresh mint

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt,

1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Add everything to the bowl with your meat. Using your clean hands, mix everything together so that all ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are a true Pelosi, you will breathe very heavily during this step. I use my hands to make 8 firmly packed meatballs. I told you they were GIGANTIC meatballs.


Raisin awareness: People always ask about the raisins in my meatballs. For me, there is no other way; the sweetness they add in contrast to the savory flavors of the rest of the meatball is truly at the center of my Italian heart. I just LOVE it. It's not just something that happened on a whim, though. It's an old Sicilian tradition, along with pine nuts, when making meatballs. My family has always done it and always will. I hope you love it as well, and if you don't, that's fine too. Just don't tell Bimpy.


Place your balls in a HOT frying pan set on medium heat with a little drizzle of olive oil in pan. They should immediately start to sizzle.


This is the fun part. Every few minutes, you get to turn your balls around in the pan, making sure that every side of the ball gets nice and crispy and dark. I like to go extra dark here as it adds the most flavor for me. There will still be some pink spots here and there and that's ok—we are not fully cooking the balls here! That will happen when they swim in the marinara.


Speaking of marinara, as noted above, you should have a nice pot of marina (preferably Grossy's Marinara) ready to go here! Bring your meatballs and marinara sauce close together and begin dropping your meatballs into your sauce. Fully submerge your meatball children in your marinara and wish them luck. Don't forget to tell them you love them.


Cover your sauce and place the pot on the stove to simmer. As the sauce simmers, the flavors of the meatballs will infuse into the sauce, taking it to a place you have never thought possible. Your meatballs will also fully cook through and stay nice and moist.


The only way to know if your meatballs are cooked fully is to grab one and discreetly cut into it to see the center. If it's just barely pink, you are in the right zone.


When you are ready to eat, serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese! Heaven!


If you want to freeze your meatballs, it is best to do this BEFORE you place them in the sauce. Simply let them cook and place them in a Ziploc bag to freeze. When you are ready to use them, defrost slightly and then drop into a pot of marinara to finish cooking and warm though. Truly one of the best meals for your freezer. Bimpy quite literally makes 100 meatballs regularly just to freeze.


*Sometimes I do a mix of beef, pork, and veal. Sometimes I do all beef. I never do all ground turkey, but if I were, I would most definitely add some schmaltz to the recipe so that the meatballs are not dry.


Make it step-by-step with me below!

LET'S DO THIS ONE STEP AT A TIME:

You are gonna need a big bowl!

1. Break up your ground meat into chunks in bowl. You need 3 lbs of ground meat for this recipe. I typically use 1 ½ lbs ground beef (around 85% lean because we need that fat) and 1 ½ lbs ground pork.


Sometimes I do a mix of beef, pork, and veal.


Sometimes I do all beef.


I never do all ground turkey, but if I were, I would most definitely add some schmaltz to the recipe so that the meatballs are not dry.

2. Prep the rest of your ingredients for your meatballs:


1 ½ cups plain panko

Large handful of chopped fresh basil

Large handful of chopped fresh mint

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt,

1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3. Add everything to the bowl with your meat.

4. Using your clean hands, mix everything together so that all ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are a true Pelosi, you will breathe very heavily during this step.

5. This is what evenly distributed ingredients look like. Now I am going to remind you, like I always do, to not stress. Especially about the raisins. They like to stick together in clusters and sometimes we just let them. They have been through enough already! They used to be grapes for crying out loud!!!

6. Ok, now hear this: I like big balls. The drama of a giant meatball is just one of my greatest joys in life. I really would be so happy if you also joined me in this. Your dinner guests will have a blast with it as well!


I use my hands to make 8 firmly packed meatballs.


If you want to betray me (and Bimpy) go ahead and make them smaller, whatever makes you happy!

7. Place your balls in a HOT frying pan set on medium heat with a little drizzle of olive oil in pan. They should immediately start to sizzle.

8. This is the fun part. Every few minutes, you get to turn your balls around in the pan, making sure that every side of the ball gets nice and crispy and dark. I like to go extra dark here as it adds the most flavor for me.

9. Your balls should be nice and crispy on all sides. There will still be some pink spots here and there and that's ok, we are not fully cooking the balls here! That will happen when they swim in the marinara.

10. Speaking of marinara, as noted above, you should have a nice pot of marina (preferably Grossy's Marinara) ready to go here!

11. Bring your meatballs and marinara close together and begin dropping your meatballs into your sauce.

12. All I could ever ask for my children is that they have a better life than mine, and this always makes me so emotional.

13. Fully submerge your meatball children in your marinara and wish them luck. Don't forget to tell them you love them.

14. Cover your sauce and place the pot on the stove to simmer. As the sauce simmers, the flavors of the meatballs will infuse into the sauce, taking it to a place you have never thought possible. Your meatballs will also fully cook through and stay nice and moist.


The only way to know your meatballs are cooked fully is to grab one and discreetly cut into it to see the center. If it's just barely pink, you are in the right zone.


When you are ready to eat, serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese! Heaven!


If you want to freeze your meatballs, it is best to do this BEFORE you place them in the sauce. Simply let them cook and place them in a Ziploc bag to freeze. When you are ready to use them, defrost slightly and then drop into a pot of marinara to finish cooking and warm though. Truly one of the best meals for your freezer. Bimpy quite literally makes 100 meatballs regularly just to freeze.


Enjoy, you meatballs!