Libretto Meatballs


Libretto Meatballs
Recipe by Rocco Agostino, chef/partner at Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto


1 1/2 kg ground beef, ground pork and ground pork belly
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup chives (chopped)
1/4 cup oregano (chopped)
1/2 cup red peppers (roasted, puréed)
1/2 cup Parmigiano (finely grated)
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper


1.Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
2.Portion meatballs with ice-cream scoop
3.Roll meat into tight circular balls and place on large sheet pan lined with parchment paper
4.Bake at 375˚F (190˚C) for 15 minutes
5.Remove from oven and set aside

Tomato Sauce for Meatballs


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 onion (large, finely diced)
1 tbsp garlic (finely chopped)
1 litre San Marsano tomato (canned, puréed)
1/4 basil (chopped)
1/4 cup Bomba (Italian spicy condiment found at most grocery stores)
1/2 tbsp salt
6 slices crostini from a baguette (index-finger thick)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Parmigiano (coarsely grated)


1.Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to a pot large enough to hold meatballs
2.Sauté onions over medium heat till translucent
3.Add chopped garlic and sauté for a minute
4.Add tomato purée and simmer for five minutes
5.Add chopped basil, Bomba, salt and simmer for another five minutes
6.Add meatballs and drippings left in baking tray and simmer for another 15 minutes
7.While meatballs simmer, lightly brush crostini with olive oil and bake at 375˚F (190˚C) until the bread is golden. Remove from oven and set aside
8.Place three meatballs in a bowl and pour sauce over each one
9.Spinkle 1 tbsp of grated Parmigiano over meatballs, and add a crostino to each plate

Yield: Serves four to six

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