Happy Sunday

It's just not Sunday without the smell of meatballs simmering on the stove. Memories of my mother preparing Sunday sauce every week has left me with delicious thoughts that everything is right with the world. I know, some of you call it "gravy". But, my mom called it sugo, which means sauce. My mother's meatball recipe was very simple, good ground beef from her butcher, fresh parsley, fresh breadcrumbs, egg, grated cheese. That's it. She would then put her prepared raw meatballs straight into the simmering sauce, along with simmering bracciolle, pieces of lamb and pork. Her meatballs were so tender. When I started making my own sauce, my new mother in law told me that she baked her meatballs. I found that a lot of the sauce was being absorbed by the raw meatballs. And so, I came up with my own version. After all, my husband loved his mom's meatballs, so I tweaked her recipe and my Mama's recipe. Here is the recipe. I hope you try them. 

Gianna's Meatballs

Over the years, I tried to combine all the ingredients from both sides of the family to really make a perfect meatball. Here’s what I came up with…

1 lb ground beef 85% lean

2 slices any leftover bread you have in the fridge wet with water and squeezed dry

½ cup dry breadcrumbs

2 -3 cloves garlic, minced

Fresh basil or tbsp. prepared pesto

2 eggs

2 tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup chicken/beef broth

½ cup parmesan cheese

Blend all ingredients. Try not to handle meat too long. Mold into balls in the palm of your hand. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up). Top with cookie sheet rack and place meatballs in hot oven (375 degrees). Turn once over - not to stick. Cook through. May take 15 -20 minutes. Add one by one to your sauce. Makes about 10 meatballs, depending on size.

Optional: You can add ¼ cup raisins and ¼ cup pignoli nuts to mixture.

Ready to be baked

Ready to be baked


23.01.2020 16:15

Kathie Meyers

Sounds so good & love the oven method!

23.01.2020 17:32

Jan Conte

Thank you Kathie. I've been baking them for years. Try them, you won't be disappointed.

10.11.2019 04:26

Marysue Bornholdt

Hi Jan - I had to check out your meatballs! I bake mine also, and I love the addition of fresh basil. I use fresh parsley, but the basil is more flavorful. I'll have to try it, and some others!

10.11.2019 15:40

Jan Conte

I love fresh basil. I also love fresh parsley. Basil is more aromatic, so if I don't have any, I'll use parsley. However, in fish sauces and toppings, I only use parsley. Thanks for reading my blog.

27.07.2019 11:30

Annette Ferrara

Good luck Jan love to cook like you

24.07.2019 00:31


This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it.

23.07.2019 18:15


Sounds delicious. I’m going to try this!

23.07.2019 18:02

Paula Garrett

It sounds amazing, can't wait to try this!!