I am reposting and updating this recipe from 2009 for you. Hope you enjoy.
This is one of our absolute favorite recipes. I have been making these meatballs and homemade sauce the same way for 8 years now. I learned from a little Italian lady who took me under her wing and mothered me while we were living in Connecticut. These are THE BEST meatballs you will ever make. The last recipe you need. Forget store bought meatballs full of junk – these are amazing. For about $8.00 you can make over 85 meatballs (instead of paying $6.00 for about 30 in the frozen bags).
The first secret is that you HAVE to use all fresh ingredients (yes, that means shave your own parmesan, mince your own onions, and chop your own basil).
For Meatballs – 2lb Ground beef, 2 links hot Italian sausage and 3 links sweet Italian sausage (or 5 links of mild), about 5 fresh basil leafs finely chopped, 1 – 1.5 cups fresh parmesan, 2 eggs, 1-2 cups bread crumbs, 1/2 Tbs garlic powder, 1/2 medium red onion finely chopped.
I don’t actually measure anything, so those are just approximates. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Your basil and onion need to be chopped really fine so that nobody bites into a large piece of onion. And always use fresh parmesan, not the bottled stuff. I know it seems expensive to pay $6 for a block of cheese, but it usually lasts me about 9 months, and I use it a lot.
Preheat oven to 400. Chop your onions and basil finely. Shred parmesan. Then, mix your meat together (remove sausage from casings if you bought links) and dump in all the ingredients (there’s no specific order). Once it is all mixed thoroughly, roll into balls. I do mine about the size of a 1/2 dollar. I don’t like them really big, and this way they cook faster. Then, place on baking pan (with sides so the grease doesn’t spill), and bake for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and brown. You can also pan fry them, but it is messy.
You can 1/2 the recipe if you don’t want 85 meatballs, but I always make that many and freeze what I don’t use right away. I wear gloves when I mix mine all together. I can’t stand touching raw meat.
For Gravy – heat olive oil in large pot – add small diced red onion & desired amount of garlic cloves – heat (do not burn) – add 2 cans tomato paste (20 oz), 2 cans tomato puree (30 oz), 1 can diced tomato (15 oz) – add 1/4 cup red wine and 1/4 cup chicken stock – add small palm of Italian seasoning, instant coffee, chicken bouillon, sugar & salt/pepper to taste- mix well – add desired amount of mozzarella & parmesan cheese – adjust flavor to your preference – let simmer a while (the longer the better). Then, after meatballs are done you can add desired amount if you wish.
It makes the best lasagna & freezes really well.