Meatball Parmigiana Sliders — Damn Delicious

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Meatball Parmigiana Sliders

I’ve been wanting to recreate this dish as soon as I saw it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and as usual, Martha Stewart came to my rescue with the most amazing recipe. Now I’ve made meatballs before using only ground sirloin but the combination of ground beef, veal, and pork made a noticeable difference, creating a more tender, melt-in-your mouth meatball. The marinara sauce was also so much better than the store-bought kind, especially because you have complete control over all the flavors. I especially enjoyed the red pepper flakes, which gave it a nice spicy kick to it. As for the basil, it had a strong taste but not strong enough to overpower the sliders. Instead, it created a nice balance to all the meaty cheesiness. So even though this recipe was a lot of work and took longer than expected, it was completely worth it.

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders (adapted from Martha Stewart):

Yields 12 meatballs

  • 1 slice white or sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 4 ounces ground beef
  • 4 ounces ground pork
  • 2 ounces ground veal (I could only find this at my local butcher shop)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium egg
  • Coarse salt

For the marinara:

  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil, leaves torn
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

For the sandwich:

  • 1 dozen rolls, split and toasted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Small basil leaves

Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes.

Gently mix bread and milk with meats, pecorino Romano, parsley, garlic egg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper.

Simmer, covered, until thick, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll meatball mixture into twelve 1-ounce balls (each about the size of a golf ball); set aside.

Stir in herbs into marinara sauce.

Drop meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

To assemble :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Working in batches, arrange rolls cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball, a spoonful of sauce, 1 tablespoon mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon pecorino Romano on bottom halves.

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