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homemade meatballs

Homemade Meatballs (Polpette)

One of my favorite comfort foods is spaghetti and homemade meatballs. I know they’re not regarded as “authentic” Italian cuisine, but there is something so comforting about a big bowl of spaghetti noodles topped with a golden brown sphere of deliciousness.

I like this homemade meatballs recipe most because of the addition of sweet Italian sausage. This adds a complexity and spice to an otherwise conventional dish. This recipe is also great because it can be made in huge quantities in advance. It’s easy to freeze for a rainy day or busy work night. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

homemade meatballs


Tomato Mixture (Aromatics)

4 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic
2 large onions (coarsely chopped)
4 T fresh oregano (or 2 T dry)
2 T fresh thyme (or 1 T dry)
1 t red chili flakes
1 t salt
2 t pepper
1 6 oz can tomato paste

Bread Crumb Mix

1/2 c bread crumbs
5 slices bread, cubed
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk


1 lb ground beef
1 lb sweet Italian sausage



Sauté the garlic until edges brown in the olive oil. Then add diced onion. Sweat onions and garlic until onions are translucent. (This takes around 1.5 minutes) Add oregano, thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

onions and garlic

Once onions and garlic are tender, reduce heat to low and add the can of tomato paste. Stir until combined and then remove from heat.

sweat onions

While the tomato mixture cools, combine bread crumbs, parmesan, eggs, and milk in a bowl. Mix together until smooth.

bread mix

For this recipe we recommend using bulk Italian sausage. If you can only find links, you’ll need to remove the casing. In a separate bowl, mix beef, sausage, and cooled tomato mixture until combined. Then add bread crumb mix. Mix until homogenous. 

mix meat

Once ingredients are combined, we can shape the meatballs freehand or preferably using a spring loaded ice cream scoop. The scoop ensure uniformity which helps them cook evenly. The balls should be about 2 oz each. You can make larger ones, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time. The balls can be shaped in advance and frozen raw to use later. 

homemade meatballs

Preheat oven to 375. Place shaped meatballs into 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper (this will fit 15 2 oz meatballs). Use another 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper for the rest. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 F. 


Serve with your favorite tomato sauce over spaghetti noodles. You can also serve on a sub roll with melted cheese.


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