Don't think you can manage to throw something together hodge-podge and beat this recipe. Not possible. These meatballs are really flavorful and tender. These freeze perfectly, and are great for spaghetti and meatballs or a meatball sub. The last time I made these I was out of fresh basil, and I subbed an equal amount of pesto- still lovely! The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs meatloaf mix, but my butcher only carries 1 1/4, but it works great anyway. These are a sure thing!
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
1 large egg
3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup water
1 1/4 pounds ground "meatloaf mix" (approximately equal parts ground beef, pork and veal)
¾ cup dried Italian Style bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (plus more for serving)
Set rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and water. Add meat, breadcrumbs and Parmesan and mix until just combined. Do not overdo it.
Using your hands, take about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture (about the size of a golf ball) at a time and gently roll into balls. Place meatballs on ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and use a metal spatula to turn meatballs, or shake vigorously to brown evenly. Put back in oven and cook another 10 minutes, until nicely browned.
When the meatballs are browned, transfer them to the pan with tomato sauce, leaving the fat behind. Cover loosely with foil and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the flavors marry and the meatballs are cooked through. Keep warm until ready to toss with pasta.