National Meatball Day Recipe: Carmine's Italian Restaurant

Happy National Meatball Day! To celebrate, Carmine’s shared their famous recipe! Buon appetito!

Makes 12 meatballs

1 ½ c. bread crumbs
2 ½ c. chicken stock
1 ½ Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. ground veal
1 ½ lbs. fresh ground beef chuck, 80% lean
1 c. romano cheese, grated
Olive oil
10 c. Carmine’s Marinara Sauce [see recipe below]

Preheat the oven to 450°.
In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1 cup of chicken stock, garlic, eggs, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Add the veal, beef, and grated cheese. Using your hands, mix well, but not to overwork the mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the mixture to set up.
Lightly oil a high-sided sheet pan with olive oil. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out rounded balls of the meat mixture. Arrange them on the sheet pan, spacing the balls evenly apart until you’ve used up the mixture; there should be about 12 balls.
Coat your hands with a little bit of olive oil and tightly pack each ball while rolling it round to maintain uniform shape.
Pour the remaining 1 ½ cups of chicken stock into the sheet pan around the meatballs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.  Remove and let cool.
When you’re ready to serve, combine the meatballs with the marinara sauce in a medium pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Let any leftover meatballs and sauce cool and then refrigerate.

Makes 10 cups

6 (26 - 28oz.) cans Italian plum tomatoes
½ c. olive oil
½ c. garlic, coarsely chopped
24 fresh basil leaves, sliced
4 tsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Drain tomatoes in a colander set in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Reserve the tomato liquid.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Reduce the heat a little if the garlic cooks too quickly.
Add basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, increase heat to high and cook them for about 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon or long-handled fork to break them up.
When the mixture boils, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes or until tomatoes break down.
Add reserved tomato liquid. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil it for 12 minutes or until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent the sauce from burning.
Transfer sauce to a bowl and set it aside for an hour to cool. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.