I always double this recipe and freeze the extra after simmering in tomato sauce. These meatballs are also delicious served on a good bun, toasted in the oven with melted mozzarella or a dusting of parmesan and some fresh basil. For a lighter meatball, substitute ground turkey for the beef and pork. Serves 4 to 6
1. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and the milk. Soak for 10 minutes then drain and press off any excess milk.
2. Place the meat in medium bowl and mix lightly. Reserve in the refrigerator.
3. In a large bowl mix together the soaked breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, shallot, fennel seed, red chile flakes (optional), parsley and Parmesan. Mix until they are evenly combined. Mixing the aromatics together before adding to the meat prevents the over mixing of the meat which can make the meatballs tough.
4. Add the aromatic mixture to the meat and sprinkle the salt evenly over the top of the meat. Grind a few turns of black pepper over the top. Quickly and gently mix with your hands or a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients evenly.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Ready a lipped half sheet pan drizzled with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the meatballs.
6. Use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs into 16 mounds and place them on the sheet pan. Pick up each mound of meatball and quickly roll it into a ball. Put it back on the pan and repeat with the remaining meat.
7. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, roll them over and bake for another 15 minutes until cooked through. Simmer in tomato sauce for 45 minutes to finish.