Frankie's Spuntino, the Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, New York--run by Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo-- is a popular favorite, especially for their tennis ball-sized meat balls.
- 2 cup plain white bread, torn into large pieces
- 2 pound ground beef (90 percent lean, no fattier)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup raisons
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 15 turns freshly ground white pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dried plain breadcrumbs
- 12 cup tomato sauce, such as our Basic Tomato Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Place the bread in a large bowl, cover with water, and let soak until saturated, about 1 minute.
- Pour off the remaining water, wring out the bread, and tear it into tiny pieces. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the breadcrumbs and tomato sauce and mix to combine.
- Add the breadcrumbs a little at a time until the mixture is moist wet, not sloppy wet. (You may not have to add all of the breadcrumbs.)
- Roll 1/2 cup of the meat mixture between your hands until it’s smooth, compact, and round (about 2 inches in diameter) and place the meatball on a baking sheet; repeat until you have 15 meatballs, spacing them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake until firm and just cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. (At this point, you can cool the meatballs and hold them in the refrigerator for as long as a couple of days or freeze them for the future.)
- Meanwhile, heat the tomato sauce in a large pot over medium heat until simmering.
- Add the meatballs and increase the heat to medium high until the sauce returns to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meatballs soak up some of the sauce, at least 30 minutes.
- Serve 3 meatballs per person with a healthy helping of the sauce. Top each portion with a fluffy mountain of grated cheese.