- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1/2 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- Arugula leaves (optional)
18 very small soft rolls, split horizontally, or Roasted Garlic Buns
- Mix all meats, panko, 1/2 cup water, 6 tablespoons cheese, egg, egg yolk, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in large bowl.
- Form into eighteen 2-inch-meatballs.
- Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, fry meatballs until brown all over. Transfer to plate. Pour off drippings from skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil to skillet.
- Add onion, garlic, basil, and fennel seeds. Saute until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add all tomatoes with juices. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.
- Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
- Puree sauce in processor until almost smooth.
- Return to same skillet. Add meatballs. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes longer.
- Place arugula leaves on bottom of each roll, if desired.
- Top each with 1 meatball. Drizzle meatballs with some of sauce and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 tablespoons cheese. Cover with tops of rolls.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.