I grew up watching my mom make this recipe and have been eating her meatballs for as long as I can remember.
They’re a loving companion to a bowl of fusilli or farfalle, but they’re also strong enough to be a meal all on their own. My mom’s meatballs have always felt like comfort, so when I moved far away from home earlier this year, I knew I had to finally learn her recipe. They’re the perfect comfort food, and always remind me of her, even 3,000 miles away.
The secret to my Mom’s crispy, golden homemade meatballs? There’s no such thing as too much extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO, as many people call it).
These meatballs are nutrient-dense and bursting with flavor. The pine nuts add a crunch, the oregano adds a hint of nature, and the ingredients below will take care of the rest.
Serving Size: 2 people
- Public Goods garlic or cloves of garlic
- red onion
- Public Goods oregano (basil or parsley will also work – or feel free to use all three!)
- Public Goods extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- 2 organic brown eggs
- Public Goods black peppercorns
- 1 cup of grated parmesan
- 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
- Pasta of your preference (Public Goods fettuccine, spaghetti or penne)
- Public Goods tomato basil sauce
- Mince two cloves of garlic — or use Public Goods garlic powder — and ¼ of an onion.
- Knead ground beef into a bowl.
- Crack two eggs into the bowl, then knead into the beef until they integrate.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly throughout the bowl, then knead them into the beef. (I spare about ⅕ bread crumbs in a separate bowl so I can lightly roll the meatballs in the bread crumbs one last time before putting them on the stove.)
- Add garlic, onion, oregano/basil and pine nuts into the bowl. Make sure they are spread evenly throughout the beef. Knead the beef all together again.
- Lastly, sprinkle parmesan and season with pepper.
- It’s time to roll those meatballs! For size, touch your thumb and pointer finger together (in a circle shape) –– that’s roughly the size you want to make these. Smaller means they will cook all the way through without burning. As you roll them, the bread crumbs will keep all ingredients compact.
- Pour three tablespoons of olive oil into a cast-iron pan. Let the pan heat up for a minute until it sizzles.
- Start placing your rolled meatballs into the pan. I place them in a clockwise formation, circling into the center so I know which ones to check first.
- Let them sizzle for 5 minutes, until they crisp on the outside.
- While they’re crisping, heat up 2 cups of sauce for a few minutes (don’t let it bubble, or it will burn).
- Flip them over, and let the opposite side crisp for another 5 minutes.
- Make sure they’re cooked all the way through (not pink on the inside) –– sometimes flipping them on their sides will help.
- Once the meatballs brown on the outside, take them off heat. Pour sauce in a separate bowl.
Honestly I can’t go a month without making these meatballs. While there may be many meatball recipes out there, this authentic Italian version is easy to make and is guaranteed to always be a hit in the kitchen. I’ve made these as a main dish, on the side with a pot of tomato sauce, and even added them as a protein into salads. No matter how many times I make them — or different pastas I eat alongside them — they always taste like home, and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too!
If you decide to cook this delicious meal, please share photos on social media and tag Public Goods. Also, let us know if you ever want to submit a recipe to our blog.
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