Recipe: Italian Meatballs make Friends

I’ve been thinking about sharing this recipe for a while and today seems like a good day…  it’s National Garlic Day!

These recipes were shared to me by my good friend, Margie Larocca. She invited me over one rainy day to learn how to make her family recipe of Italian Meatballs and Tomato Sauce. Marge’s mother-in-law had taught her how to make this family recipe when she was newly married and has been making this signature dish for her husband and three daughters ever since. I had such a great time learning these recipes while drinking wine and sharing family stories. I encourage you to gather your friends together on a rainy day and try these recipes (you won’t regret it)!

As you’ll see below, there isn’t an exact measurement assigned to garlic or Italian parsley… as would any authentic recipe handed down by generations!

Larocca Family Italian Meatball Recipe

3 lbs ground beef

2 lbs ground pork

1 ½ loaf stale Italian bread

3 cups romano cheese (grated)

3 eggs Italian parsley

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Garlic

Mazola Oil

Mix beef and pork together in a large bowl. Divide bread into small pieces and moisten with warm water. Add drained bread to meat mixture. Add eggs and cheese. The mix should look ¾ meat, ½ bread, ¼ cheese. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Shape meatballs to desired size (Marge makes her meatballs a little larger than the size of a lime). In a large skillet, add Mazola oil and garlic on medium heat. Brown the shaped meatballs until crispy and cooked through. Add more garlic and oil as needed. Save meatball grease in a glass jar to use in tomato sauce or when reheating meatballs.

Tips: Add more eggs if meatball mixture is not sticking into shape. If mixture is too mushy, add more bread crumbs.

Laracco Family Tomato Sauce Recipe

4 large cans whole tomatoes

2 large cans of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Salt and pepper

Fresh Garlic

Italian parsley

Meatball grease (yes, you read that right –  use the grease left over from the meatball recipe)

Blend whole tomatoes with juice. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and meatball grease. Cook as long as you can (Margie keeps it on stovetop for hours). Add water periodically to the consistency that you like. Add meatballs at the end of cooking time (no more than 45 minutes otherwise the meatballs will crumble in sauce). Complete the meal with your choice of pasta and enjoy!

Freeze extra meatballs and sauce. Margie sends a package of frozen meatballs and sauce to her daughter who is now in college. I have two younger brothers and having meatballs handy when they visit makes me look like a hero!

Let me know if you give this recipe a try! I’d love to hear how it goes!

Thanks, Marge for letting me share your family recipe!

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