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Carmine's Meatballs are my go-to recipe--they're great, bonus sauce recipe too

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Joined: Feb 5, 2007


Posted to Thread #23087 at 1:59 pm on Oct 22, 2012

Carmine's Meatballs and Sauce

Makes 12 meatballs and 6 cups of sauce

Adapted from "Carmine's Family-Style Cookbook."

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (chuck with 20% fat recommended)

1/2 pound ground veal

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 slices firm white bread, crusts removed

1 cup milk

1 cup grated romano cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

In large mixing bowl, use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix together the beef, veal and eggs. Add the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salt, finely chopped garlic and pepper and mix well.

Tear bread into pieces and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add milk and let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the milk is nearly absorbed. Add bread to meat and use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix it well. Stir in grated cheese.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 45 minutes or until the meat mixture is firm. Using an ice cream scoop, remove chunks of meat and roll them between dampened palms into meatballs, each weighing about 3 ounces. Refrigerate the meatballs for at least 10 minutes.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add meatballs and cook for 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer them to a platter and set aside.

In same pan, heat remaining teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced Spanish onion and tablespoon of chopped garlic, and saute them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are browned.

Meanwhile, in a pot large enough to hold the meatballs, heat the marinara sauce over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce starts to boil. Stir in the onions and garlic.

Add the browned meatballs and any accumulated juices and cook them over medium heat for about 45 minutes. Do not cover them while cooking. Remove them from the heat and set them aside for about 45 minutes, or until they have had ample time to mellow and the flavors of the sauce and meat intermingle.

To store the meatballs, let them cool in the sauce. Transfer them to a tightly lidded storage container and refrigerate them for up to 1 week or freeze them for up to 1 month.

Carmine's Marinara Sauce

Makes 10 cups

6 (26 to 28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic

24 fresh basil leaves, sliced

4 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 teaspoons 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.

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