Monday, December 28, 2009

Super Moist Meatballs- Tyler Florence Style

I made these meatballs on Christmas Eve and served them with pasta for my family and all of them agreed that these were THE best meatballs I've made. My oldest son, who travels all over the country told me they tasted just like the meatballs served in the Fine Italian Restaurants he has frequented during his travels.

The secret to the moistness? Soaking the bread in milk!
The only thing I changed about this recipe, is Tyler makes 10 large meatballs, and I made many small ones.

You must give them a try.


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1 cup milk
* 4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
* 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 cups heated Pomodoro Sauce, recipe follows, or good quality jarred tomato sauce
* 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
* Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
* 1 pound spaghetti


Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.

Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling.

Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture. (Hang onto the pan - you'll need it to cook the meatballs.) Gently combine all the ingredients with your hands or with a spoon until just mixed together. Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough. Divide into equal pieces and shape them into nice looking meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 3-count of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Shower with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and put it onto a large serving platter. Pour on the rest of the sauce and mix well. Spoon the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves. Serve immediately along with extra cheese.
Pomodoro Sauce:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand, liquid reserved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes) and about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes with a wooden spoon to further break up the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil and season again.

Yield: 4 cups



  1. Meatballs and sauce are like chili- all good, many ways!

  2. I agree! This will probably be my standard GO To meatball recipe from now on. Sooo moist.

  3. lovely... I have this fight... err discussion all the time about size. I like em big!!!

  4. I know the restaurants like to serve them rather large, but I prefer a smaller version- I'm also afraid I won't get the larger ones thoroughly cooked.

  5. These look like the perfect meatball, Sherri. My family will love trying these!

  6. I used a similar recipe for years and feel the same way. This recipe is a KEEPER!!

  7. Katy- I'm gonna' try the meatballs for appetizers for New year's Eve in my special bourbon sauce. Can't wait to try them.

  8. Thanks for this recipe. I love meatballs. The only recipe I have I love the sauce and the meatballs are always a little tough. Will try this one next time.

  9. Lea Ann- I have had the same problem in the past. These are very moist!

  10. I just saw a restaurant owner make his meatbalsl like this last night, milk..bread and all...which is the way I've made them for years but not with combo of meats, which is something I seriously need to do ! the ONLY difference is that he did not cook his meatballs before adding them to the sauce ! He just plopped those babies right in there with the sauce and let them cook. so, I'm going to try nex time. that chcoolate caramel toffee cake that is showing up on this page as I'm typing this message is catching my eye........ :) blessings, sister.
    glo (I"m signing in as anonymous because it's easiest to figure out right now, not because I don't know who I am )

  11. Looks yummy but way to complicated for me!

  12. Hi, do you have to use whole milk? Will 2% work? Thank you!

  13. Spank me. It’s the only way I learn. Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)