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Sandwich Recipe: Classic Meatball Sub

There’s nothing over the top about this sandwich. And that’s exactly what makes it so good. It’s nothing but simple, hearty ingredients prepared the way a true Italian dish should be – slowly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them fast!


Meatball Subs

30min to prepare 8-12 sandwiches


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8-12 loaves crusty Italian bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated, garnish
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  1. To make the sauce, start with a large pot or Dutch oven and heat your olive oil over medium-high heat. Once that gets hot, saute your onions until soft and browned.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, and add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. Pour in red wine and pick up drippings on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the red wine has evaporated and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Begin the meatballs the same way you did the sauce: heat olive oil in a pan and saute shallots until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  6. In a large bowl, combine meats, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, egg, milk, salt and pepper. Mix everything together until well incorporated.
  7. Preheat oven to 350º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop your meat into 1 ½-inch balls and spread out on the baking sheets. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and place directly into tomato sauce. Make sure all meatballs get coated in sauce.
  10. On the stove or in the oven, toast your bread. Transfer bread to plates and place 2-3 meatballs and sauce in each sandwich, and cover with lots of Parmesan. [Optional: Top meatballs with slices of mozzarella and place under broiler for 3 minutes.]
  11. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon