Total: 10 mins
Active: 5 mins
Makes: 1 sandwich
The meatball sub is the ultimate deli hoagie, and every ingredient is important to its success. Here we combine a good-quality roll with our Italian Meatballs and some fresh mozzarella for an over-the-top sub.
Game plan: This is a great way to use up leftover Italian Meatballs, but no one says you can?t make the meatballs solely for multiple rounds of sub consumption.
Hoagie rolls can be found in most grocery stores, but you can also substitute ciabatta or sourdough rolls.
- 3 Italian Meatballs
- 1/4 cup Basic Tomato Sauce
- 1 hoagie roll, about 6 inches long
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Heat broiler to low and arrange the rack in the middle of the oven. Warm up the meatballs in the sauce in a covered microwaveable bowl or on the stovetop.
- Cut a 1-inch V-shaped notch out of the top of the hoagie roll and discard. Remove some of the roll?s interior to form a pocket so the meatballs can fit easily.
- Arrange the meatballs in the roll, cover with sauce, top with mozzarella, and put on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Place under the heated broiler until cheese is melty and golden and bread is toasty around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Beverage pairing: Mirassou Pinot Noir, California. Bright red berry fruit and a refreshing verve are called for to wash down the meatballs, but not much else. Keep things simple with an inexpensive Pinot Noir, and serve it slightly chilled.
Basic Tomato Sauce
If you have never made your own tomato sauce, this is a great starter recipe. But even if you?re a pro, this sauce is a great base on which to riff.
Game plan: If you?ve canned your own tomatoes, they can be used here. Just put the tomatoes and juices in a food processor and pulse until they are evenly broken up and incorporated, then proceed with the recipe below.
If you can, make this sauce up to 24 hours in advance (keep it covered in the refrigerator, and rewarm as needed), because the flavors improve with time.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 (28-ounce) cans high-quality crushed tomatoes, with juices
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add onion and season with salt. Cook until onion is softened and just beginning to brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes more.
- Add tomatoes and juices, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste and, if necessary, season with more salt or add a pinch of sugar if the sauce is too acidic.
Nothing conjures up a checkered tablecloth and an Italian American trattoria like spaghetti topped with meatballs. On this side of the pond, we tend to eat them over pasta or in a Meatball Sub, while Italians simply pair up a bowl of meatballs with nothing more than a Basic Tomato Sauce, crusty bread, and some red wine. No matter how you eat them, these herby meatballs will fill you up. And if you have leftovers, don?t worry; these get better the longer they rest in the sauce.
What to buy: Meatballs shouldn?t be where you hide second-rate ground meat, so look for quality meat from a good butcher. Our turkey-beef-pork combo tastes great, but any combination will work, even straight ground chuck or ground sirloin. If you can choose, go for the more full-flavored ground turkey thigh meat rather than breast.
- 1/4 pound stale country bread (such as ciabatta), crusts removed and torn into large pieces (about 2 packed cups)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound ground beef (ground chuck works great)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh meat)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, minced (such as Maui or Vidalia onions)
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (from 1/2 bunch)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (from 1/4 bunch)
- 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 8 cups tomato sauce, such as Basic Tomato Sauce
- Place torn bread in a small bowl and cover with milk. (Push bread down so it all gets moistened.) Let soak until most milk is absorbed and bread is broken down, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place garlic and fennel seeds on a cutting board and sprinkle all salt and pepper on top. Chop mixture until it is a rough paste (it will resemble cornmeal).
- Place meat in a large bowl and mix until it is evenly combined, about 3 minutes. Add bread and any milk, and mix until bread is fully incorporated (break up any bread chunks). Add onions and mix well. Add eggs and mix until just incorporated. Add garlic-fennel paste, parsley, oregano, and grated cheese, and mix until very evenly combined.
- Roll a handful of meat mixture between your hands until mixture is smooth, compact, and round. (Each meatball should be about 2 inches in diameter.) Place meatball on a dish and repeat until you have used up meat mixture. (You should have about 30 meatballs.)
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Once heated, place meatballs in the pan, leaving about 1/4 inch between each one. (You may have to do this in 2 batches.) Let each meatball brown on one side and turn when it is very brown. Keep turning until meatballs are well browned on all sides, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer meatballs to a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid, cover with 8 cups tomato sauce (such as our Basic Tomato Sauce), and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Meatballs can be eaten immediately, though they improve in flavor if left to rest in sauce for 10 to 20 minutes before being served.