Yesterday I made a big try of meatballs so Michelle could use some in her Italian Wedding Soup. Since we still had a lot left to use, we decided to put some in sauce and simmer them and then make some meatball sub sandwiches. Sean opted to have just spaghetti and meatballs, but I made a sub for myself on some garlic bread.
Meatball Sub Sandwiches
For the meatballs:
2 slices of white bread (use good white bread for this)
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil (if you’re using dried basil, cut this in at least half)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
For the garlic bread:
1 loaf Italian bread or French bread
4 tablespoons butter, softened (use less if you like, I often do)
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or other cheese of your liking, or no cheese at all, it’s optional)
Fresh mozzarella, sliced for the sandwiches
For the meatballs, remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork.
Add the beef, pork, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Gently form the mixture into 1-inch round meatballs ( I made them smaller this time for the soup we made).
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the meatballs on a wire rack in a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until well browned.
For the sauce, cook the oil and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes (don’t scorch the garlic, it tastes pretty bad when you do. As soon as you can smell it, you’re ready for the next step). Stir in the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and sugar. Season with salt to taste. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated through, about 10 minutes.
For the garlic bread, preheat the broiler. Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. In a small bowl, mix the butter, oil, garlic and oregano. Spread the mixture evenly on the bread. On a baking sheet, place the bread under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Check frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from the broiler and serve, or, if using the cheese, sprinkle cheese over the bread and place under the broiler for another 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
To assemble the sandwich, place as many meatballs as you desire on the bread. Cover the meatballs with some extra sauce and add some slices of fresh mozzarella. Place the sandwich back under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Of course, there are always variations on this. I don’t eat cheese, so my sandwich went without. Michelle only wanted a small sandwich so she could have some pasta too, so she only had a half sandwich. You could also add some Italian sausage to the mix and have them on the sandwich as well.
It’s a great use of some leftovers. Everyone loves a good sub sandwich, and having this one on the toasted garlic bread makes it even better.
I think I am going to make some shrimp tomorrow, although I am not sure how I am going to do it just yet. Check back and see what I come up with. until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!