Meatball Sandwiches (from scratch or leftovers)
When I have meatball sandwiches, they are usually made from meatballs that are leftover from a meal of spaghetti and meatballs or other preparation. See instructions in the notes, as well as the similar and related recipes links. 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 provolone adds more flavor.
- 1 slice homemade-style bread
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought seasoned tomato sauce (see the similar and related recipes links)
- 4 sub rolls
- Thinly sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
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.