Still making meatballs

I’m so curious about this meatball trend. Haven’t meatballs always been good? Are there chefs who stopped making meatballs for a time or even more unimaginable, consumers who gave up eating meatballs? This new fad is a bit mysterious to me, since I’ve been making meatballs since I was old enough to recreate my Grandma Michelina’s.

So I admit I have probably inherited the meatball gene which may explain why I never stopped making or eating meatballs. Apparently there are lots of people rediscovering them and they’re waiting in two hour lines to eat them at the bar at the popular Meatball Shop in Manhattan.

My grandma’s recipe involved simmering her veal-beef-pork meatballs in gravy (her word for marinara) with spicy Italian pork sausage. It’s hard to say whether they were better hot on a napkin with salt before they hit the gravy, or gently cooked in the sauce for hours then ladled onto some crusty Italian bread and eaten as a grinder.

She always fried hers in plenty of olive oil, but I’ve taken to baking them, which I’m sure wouldn’t go over too well with her were she alive to find out. They’re not as sturdy baked, but to tell you the truth, all that oil makes my belly hurt and it’s such a buzz kill to eat a delicious meal and then get a stomach ache afterwards.

But now that EVERYONE is making meatballs, there are a lot of interesting variations coming down the pike (recipes like alligator meatballs and meatballs with orange). I like lamb balls simmered in cinnamon-spiked marinara–great with warm Israeli couscous. Then there are the Mexican mini meatballs, made with salsa Verde, beef, and ground tortilla chips and served with salsa or tossed with taco salad ingredients. I recently saw a bunch of Superbowl recipes for chicken meatballs seasoned with Buffalo sauce and blue cheese, meatball sliders, meatball paninis, and meatballs grinders, including one with caramelized onions and Gruyere.

Other ways I enjoy meatballs include escarole and pipini soup with tiny chicken meatballs, and those Asian-style appetizers I’ve made for weddings with pork sausage, beef, ginger, scallions, and water chestnuts and served with a sweet and spicy chili-garlic dipping sauce.

It seems that you can substitute meatballs in many recipes that normally use ground meat, like a version of Shepard’s pie I saw once that was made with meatballs instead of browned meat, but covered with the usual mashed potatoes. My favorite recipe is still my Grandma’s.

Michelina’s Meatballs (Baked)

  • 1/2 each ground beef, veal and pork
  • 1 yellow onion minced fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced fine
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups bread crumbs made from stale Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix all the ingredients except the meat in a bowl with your clean hands. Add the meat and mix till just blended. Form into balls about 1 1/2 inches across. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with a hearty marinara, spaghetti and Parmesan cheese.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Preparing individuals for career opportunities, technology training, and certifications for the medical, culinary arts, HVAC repair, legal, and cosmetology fields since 1934.
            • Has many lecture classes with a maximum of a 30:1 student to teacher ratio, and most lab classes with a maximum of an 18:1 student to teacher ratio.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools.
            • Has locations in Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Lansing, Madison Heights, Roseville, Saginaw, Southgate, Waterford-Pontiac and Wayne-Westland.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits