Now that truly is a great meatball !! Greg Marro, Chief Fun Officer of Greg Walks NYC, a walking tour company, is one of the most charming, knowledgeable, 3rd generation Italian, stylish, men I know. We met through my good friend Judy, at a birthday party (for who I can’t remember) and through the years I would hear about Greg (Judy and Greg have been besties forever), but I never really “knew” about Greg until I asked him for his meatball recipe. What a character! Rich in family history, entwined in New York history, and a love for family, food, and fashion. Enjoy my interview with Greg. Take one of his tours when you visit New York. Make his great, great grandmother’s meatballs (recipe below) and listen to some Dean Martin.
3/4 lb ground beef
1/4 lb ground pork / ground sausage meat
1⁄4 cup to ½ cup milk
1 STALE loaf Italian Bread with crusts removed (never breadcrumbs!)
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper or chili powder
(depends on personal taste)
chili powder adds a nice kick
1⁄2 cup grated locatelli/Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1 Tablespoon dried mint
- Cut the crust off the bread and let it get stale overnight. The next day, soak the bread in milk and wine until soft – about 5-10 minutes. If the bread seems dry, add more milk (start with 1/8 cup) accordingly. Squeeze liquid from bread by hand. Reserve liquid. (I had no liquid to squeeze and used a little more milk, possibly because I had a big loaf of bread….so eyeball the bread and use less or more depending on your meatball preferences.)
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand. If the mixture feels too dry, add reserved liquid (start with 1/8 cup) until pliable/workable. Discard remaining reserved liquid.
- Use bare hands for best results. (This was fun and easy.) Make sure you’re wearing one of your Nonna’s aprons. Roll meatballs the size of a golf ball. (Wet your hands to prevent the meat from sticking to them while rolling the meatballs. I used a small round scoop that I use for cookies.)
- Sauté meatballs in large frying pan, over medium heat, in olive oil as needed (2 Tablespoons or more depending on frying pan size) until brown crust forms. Do not allow oil to smoke.
OR roast in oven 375 degrees for about 30 – 40 min till browned. You will know they’re done after sampling one or two (or five).
- Drop cooked meatballs into a pot of pasta sauce on a low simmer for at least 1 – 2 hours, depending on your taste preference. (Greg uses a Crock Pot so there is no possibility of burning as they slow cook in the ‘sauce.’)
Let me know how your Meatballs turned out in the comments below,
and if you have a Nonna recipe you might like to share !!
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