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Gigantic Meatballs


  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You'll Need

Units Scale
  • Grossy’s Marinara
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean because we need that fat)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups Homemade Breadcrumbs or store-bought panko breadcrumbs
  • Large handful chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Large handful chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups Grossy’s Marinara or store-bought marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooked pasta of your choice, such as spaghetti, for serving
  • Garlic bread, for serving (optional)

What You'll Do

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef and pork, breaking up the meat as you add it. Add the breadcrumbs, basil, mint, Parmesan, raisins, eggs, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes and use your hands to mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Divide the mixture evenly and round it into 8 firmly packed meatballs, each about the size of a baseball. (I told you, these are gigantic!)
  2. In a large pot, heat the marinara, covered, over low heat.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add half the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally, until crispy and dark on the outside, about 10 minutes total. Immediately transfer the meatballs to the pot of marinara. Submerging them in the sauce, re cover the pot, and continue simmering. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and add a few ladles of marinara to it. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom, then pour the marinara back into the pot with the meatballs.
  5. Again, check that your meatball children are fully submerged, then replace the lid, tell them you love them, and wish them luck. Simmer for about 20 minutes; the only way to know if your meatballs are fully cooked is to discreetly cut into one to see its center. If it’s just barely pink, you are there.
  6. Spoon both the meatballs and marinara over a bowl of pasta and sprinkle with more Parmesan. Serve with a plate of garlic bread for ultimate joy, if you like.

Note: Bimpy literally makes one hundred meatballs regularly just to freeze. If you want to be like Bimpy, do so before you drop the meatballs into the sauce. After searing, let cool completely, then place them in a zip-top bag and freeze. When you are ready to use them, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then proceed with the marinara simmer to finish cooking and warm through