Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: 80 ~1½" meatballs
Meatballs are a lot of work, but they are so yummy and it is worth making a bunch and filling your freezer if you are going to go through the process. Feel free to half or quarter the recipe, just remember your family will love you for them and you will want a big glass of red with when you are finished! We like them with Bucatini pasta and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 5 lbs. Bulk Italian sausage, sweet w/ fennel
  • 5 lbs. Ground beef
  • 1 ~20" baguette, cut in small cubes
  • 4 cups milk, 2%
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano, Greek
  • 1½ lbs. (3cups) Parmesan cheese, grated fine
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons salt, Kosher
  • pepper, ground, black
  • 8~ 28 oz cans San Marzano Style Tomatoes, drained, but not crushed, juice reserved
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 large springs rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, Kosher
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, julienned
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme, fresh
  • 12 cups chicken broth, homemade preferable, but not necessary
  • Reserved tomato juice (above)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt, Kosher
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano, Greek
  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • Parmesan cheese, rind
  1. Preheat oven 350ºF convection, 375ºF bake
  2. Place the sausage and beef in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine milk and bread. Allow to sit for 15 minutes until the bread has soaked up the majority of the milk.
  4. Combine the bread and milk mixture with the sausage, beef, oregano, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands, until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Scoop and form the mixture into 1 Tablespoon meatballs and place on parchment-lined sheet pans in batches.
  6. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven until done, about 15 minutes. Repeat the process until all your meatballs are formed and baked.
  7. Simmer in sauce until ready to serve
  8. Cool and divide leftovers into ziplock bags and freeze.
For the Sauce:
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF convection, 425ºF bake
  2. Place tomatoes in a non-aluminum roasting pan (a turkey roasting pan works great!).
  3. Add the garlic cloves, olive oil, rosemary and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 1 hour. Discard the rosemary at the end of roasting.
  4. In a large stock pot heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, pancetta and thyme; cook slowly until the onions are translucent and the pancetta rendered.
  5. Add the chicken broth, reserved tomato juice, 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt, oregano and roasted tomatoes. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce. 

5. Bring sauce to a simmer, then add the milk and Parmesan cheese rind. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently so the sauce doesn't scorch.
  6. Add meatballs!
Recipe by Salty Fig at