Mario Batali Meatballs


  • 3 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted for 2 minutes in a 400 degree F oven
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups basic tomato sauce


In a shallow bowl, soak the bread cubes in enough water to over. Remove the bread cubes and squeeze by hand to wring excess moisture.

In a large bowl, combine the bread, beef, eggs, garlic, pecorino, parsley, pine nuts, salt and pepper and mix by hand to incorporate bread into meat. With wet hands, form the mixture into 12 to 15 meatballs, each of a size somewhere between a tennis ball and a golf ball. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil until almost smoking. Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

In a clean pan add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add all meatballs, cook for 10 minutes and serve.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes


Adapted from Mario Batali