Italian meatballs are often fried to develop a crispy exterior, but I find I can achieve the same effect — without adding oil — by roasting them instead. If you prefer soft meatballs, cook them in pasta sauce over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. These are small enough to make a nice appetizer. Just stick a toothpick in each and serve with marinara dipping sauce. — H. Weal
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon shredded Romano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
large (5-quart) mixing bowl
measuring cups and spoons
quarter (9” x 13”) sheet pan, lined with baking mat
1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in bowl and knead by hand, just until ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. Divide mixture into thirds, and then each of those thirds into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, for a total of 18 meatballs. Place on lined baking pan.
3. Bake until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees – about 16 minutes.
NOTES & TIPS
• 3 medium garlic cloves yield about 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic.
• 1/2 ounce Romano cheese yields about 1 tablespoon shredded Romano cheese. No Romano? Use shredded Parmesan cheese. Either way, if using pre-shredded cheese, buy it from the dairy case – not the pasta aisle – for best flavor.
• 1/4 ounce fresh parsley yields about 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley.
• For greater uniformity, use a kitchen scale to check that each meatball weighs about 1.15 ounces (~33 grams).