How to Make the Perfect Italian Meatball

published by Maria Liberati on Jul 1, 2008

A recipe to make the perfect Italian meatball.

Every Italian family has their own traditions and customs regarding the way the family works, and the food that the family consumes. In my family, Sunday dinner is a big deal. The women cook, the men pour the wine, and we all eat. From the time that I was a little girl to last weekend when I was home for a visit, on Sunday mornings my house is filled with the eye-opening aroma of super hot olive oil in a frying pan full of my family’s meatballs. Meatballs are a staple in classic Italian cooking, however everyone has their own way of preparing these bite sized delights to accompany their “gravy” or “sauce,” (the title depending on where your family originates from). My family uses a mixture of pork,veal and beef, although veal. We also use “stale” or dried Italian bread, instead of breadcrumbs, to give the meatballs texture. When using the stale bread, you must soak the bread in water to remove the crust and squeeze it out thoroughly before adding it to the other ingredients. The chopped meat and bread are combined with cheese, parsley, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl where they are then rolled by hand into golf sized balls of heaven for your taste buds.


  • 1 lb chopped meat of mixed pork beef and veal (or soy based substitute for beef)
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh parsley
  • about ½ cup pecorino romano cheese
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • about ¾ cup dried Italian bread


  1. Soak the bread in water and remove all the crust. Ring it out very well.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and roll the contents into balls, then place them in hot olive oil and fry until brown.
  3. Before rolling all the meatballs, roll one and fry it in order to make sure that you have the right proportions of ingredients so that any changes in taste or texture can be corrected before rolling the whole batch.

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. # 1 by velia
    July 22nd, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    This is a very great recipe like mamma used to make but we italian people love also to add lemon zest, spinach, bacon or provolone cheese. Anyway your blog is simply amazing and I am going to link it to my favorites.

  2. # 2 by Terri Denning
    December 3rd, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    THis will be a good dish for the dinner party we are having.So authentic

  3. # 3 by bill brown
    January 13th, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    thats my recipe….

  4. # 4 by mike
    April 3rd, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    how sad that you would open a website with recipes showing an in your face ad of two men going to the bathroom. how much sicker can advertising get anyway.

  5. # 5 by Maria Liberati
    October 19th, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    For more great recipes, join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at

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