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Real Italian Meatballs

How to make authentic Italian meatballs
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: meatballs
Servings: 6 people


  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 handful Italian parsley chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese grated
  • 2 cups milk whole
  • 5 slices Italian bread stale, without crusts and cubed
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese heaping tablespoons, grated
  • olive oil for frying the meatballs
  • 1 onion stuck with cloves
  • Italian sausage optional
  • ¾ cup red wine for deglazing pan
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 3- 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, mix chopped meats, mozzarella, ricotta, and some salt.  Set aside.
  • Soak bread in the milk, then squeeze out the milk, combine with parsley, garlic and eggs. 
  • Spoon parmesan into bread mixture and add mixture to the chopped meat combo. 
  • Shape combined mixture into meatballs (add water to hands when shaping to avoid sticking) and fry in olive oil along with sweet Italian sausages (if desired) and an onion stuck with cloves. 
  • While frying, be sure the meatballs get a crispy “coat” to prevent them from breaking apart. 
  • Remove the meatballs and sausages if using, deglaze the pan with ¾ cup red wine. 
  • Add a can of tomato paste and cook and stir until it is an even color.
  • Then add 6 ounces of water, stir, and add the mixture to a large sauce pot.
  • Open 3 large cans crushed tomatoes and 1 large can whole tomatoes with juice, add to the sauce pot, rinse cans with a little water and add to pot along with salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Add the fried meatballs and sausages and simmer until done, about 60 to 90 minutes.