How To Make Meatballs In 4 Steps

No recipe because you won’t need one.

Meatballs are the kind of thing you really don’t need a recipe to make. You do need:

1. Some meat. About a pound of it. (Higher fat is best, but if you’re using meat with a lower fat content — or not dark poultry meat — you’ll need to add a bit of extra seasoning.)
2. Something to bind the meat. (eggs, breadcrumbs, maybe tomato paste)
3. Seasoning (Start with onions and/or shallots, and build from there.)
4. Cheese

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3. 1. Cook a small onion or some shallots in oil.

Once they’ve softened, let them cool — they’ll be going in your meatballs.

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4. 2. Mix everything together.

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So that’s meat, cooled onions, maybe a spoonful of tomato paste, a cup of any salty cheese like pecorino, a cup of breadcrumbs, a bit of milk, and an egg. If it feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs and/or cheese. If you have some parsley or oregano and people who don’t freak out about green stuff in their meatballs, chop some and add.

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6. 3. Shape into balls.

Use your hands, really — it’ll be easier. Make them about the size of two golf balls into one, and keep them uniform so they cook evenly.

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7. 4. Cook!

Refill your frying pan with a enough oil to cover the balls halfway. Heat the oil till it’s shimmering. Add the balls one at a time, making sure not to crowd them. (Alternately, you could simmer these in sauce.)

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8. Nudge them around the pan with a spatula from time to time.

Mostly just to keep them from burning, but also to cook them all the way through. The outsides should look nicely browned — like this. Test doneness on a sentinel meatball after ten minutes. If it’s done, you’re done.

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9. Now go make pasta, and eat!

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