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Meatball Sub Sandwiches

Serves 4

When I have meatball sandwiches, they are usually made from meatballs that are leftover from a meal of spaghetti and meatballs, which is in the similar and related recipes, or other preparation. Instructions for using leftovers for the subs are in the notes below. However, the sandwiches are so good it is worth the little effort to make the meatballs and sauce from scratch. Which cheese you use depends on taste. Mozzarella is mild and melts beautifully, but a sharper cheese like provolone adds more flavor.


For the meatballs, soak the bread slices in the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk and reserve. Crumble the bread into coarse pieces. Mix the ground beef with the bread, reserved milk, and remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Combine well with hands. Form into 16 balls. Heat a large fry pan or sauté pan, large enough to hold the meatballs and sauce, over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. When hot, add meatballs in batches and fry until browned on all sides, adding more oil as needed. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, make or heat the sauce. (If using bottled sauce, it probably will need a little water to thin it out so it does not get too thick before the meatballs are done.) Return meatballs to pan with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover pan, leaving a little space for steam to escape. Simmer until sauce has thickened and meatballs are thoroughly cooked, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adjusting heat as needed. Remove the lid if needed to thicken the sauce.

Split rolls in half horizontally. If desired, place in the oven or broiler to toast lightly. Add 3 to 4 meatballs per sandwich, depending on size of rolls. Top each sandwich with sauce, then cheese. Return to the broiler just until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Notes: If making the sandwiches using leftovers, reheat the meatballs with the sauce. The meatballs can be sliced in half so they heat more quickly and evenly. Make the sandwiches using sub rolls and cheese as indicated.