This is the perfect combination of the traditional Italian meatballs and the American sub! Juicy, light and delicious meatballs in a super good tomato sauce paired with crispy baguette and freshly grated Parmesan cheese! Comfort food all the way!
I have actually never really eaten meatballs before I had gone to the USA the first time! I have been to Italy multiple times before but I have never seen it at least never noticed pasta with meatballs before! They only have pasta with ragù (aka Bolognese Sauce) or Poletti (meatballs) without pasta! So, I ate them the first time when I was in the US because there they are a real thing there and I fell in love!
I really like the texture and the combination with the tomato sauce. But there is a big difference between American meatballs and Italian ones! The Italian ones are traditionally made with ground veal while the American ones are often made with pork or a mix of pork and beef! I personally prefer the veal ones, because of the flavor but also, they are lighter. The only issue is that veal meat is kind of expensive, so I would recommend using ground turkey or chicken instead for a little less pricey option.
In my recipe I decided to add an egg and ricotta to the base of the meatballs because ethos makes them super juicy and good! Ricotta is the key for creamy and tangy dishes in the Italian cuisine! It is like an Allrounder you should always have on hand. The egg helps to bind the entire texture and the breadcrumbs help to hold it all together. For seasoning it I would always recommend using fresh herbs over using dried ones because I believe that they have way more flavor! I use parsley and sage but basil would also work great in here. But honestly if you make them, the sage is a MUST! It is sooo good in here, not to top!
The great thing about this dish is that it comes together in 20 minutes, which makes it the perfect weeknight dinner! Also, it is something that the entire family will love. If not during the week, I love this recipe as a Sunday night dinner. Sunday night is always Italian in our house! What about you? Of course, you can eat pasta with this such as spaghetti or tagliatelle but the fresh baguette adds a good amount of crunch from the outside and it is soo good when the inside is soaked with all the good tomato sauce!
For the sauce I would recommend using my homemade tomato sauce because it is just sooo good! If you don’t have it on hand or have the time to make it, you can also use any store-bought sauce or canned tomatoes and season them yourself. Also, for the Parmesan in top, I would recommend using freshly grated one and not store bought grated because the flavor is just so different!
Anyway, for whichever occasion you decide to make this you are going to win the hearts of the people you are cooking for! I hope that you will love it as much as I do. If you recreate it be sure to tag me on Instagram with @uneptcuisiniere or with #unepettecuisiniere and leave a comment here on the blog!
Italian Meatball Sub
The perfect mix of the Italian Meatballs and American Subs! A great weeknigt dinner and so delicious!
What you will need
- 1 Baguette
- 600 g ground veal or chicken
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Ricotta
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- 1 tbsp sage
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 servings tomatoe sauce can also use storebought (about 400ml)
- 30 g Parmesan Cheese
- 1 smal red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
That is how it works:
Into a food processer add the onion and garlic or mince finely with a knife. Into a bowl add the ground meat, crack the egg, the ricotta, the finely chopped herbs, salt, pepper, and the breadcrumbs. Combine and knead, best by hand.
Take an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon in order to size the balls. Roll them in your hand in order to form them and set them aside.
In a pan heat up the olive oil. Once hot add the meatballs and fry on each side for about 1 minute on high heat, then turn down to medium-low heat and let them cook for another 3 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Take the baguette and cut it into four. Slice each piece in half lenghwise and add the meatballs into the middle. Top with some freshly grated parmesan and serve!