I have been cooking since I was about 11. Of course, this does not include the almost daily freshly patted hamburger I would cook for lunch during the summer. Sometimes I would have this hamburger on a bun, but my favorite was between two slices of toasted bread. Add mustard, and as many pickles as the little round brown patty could handle. Yum.
I don't remember the first time I attempted meatballs, but I still have the cookbook with the original recipe. Mama Leone's Italian Cookbook published in 1967. It was in my mothers stash of cookbooks along with her 1960 version of Betty Crockers cookbook she probably received as a wedding gift.
I have adjusted the recipe quite a few times...probably to cut down on ingredients, or maybe I stopped checking the recipe every time I cooked them. One major change...I bake them, rather than fry. Frying is too messy. I can bake them...and do other things for 30 minutes, and as you know, I need all the time I can get.
A few years ago, I met Mrs. Gagliano. Her meatballs were knock your socks off good. We compared recipes, and mine was almost identical with one exception. I was adding milk. Where on earth did this idea come from Mrs Gagliano asked? Mama Leone recommended soaking the bread crumbs in milk, then squeezing out the excess milk prior to adding them to the meat mixture. I simply poured in the milk at some point.
And here they are today...
2lb ground sirloin
1 1/3 c bread crumbs
2/3 c Parmesan cheese
4 tsp parsley
3 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
Mix all ingredients but do not over mix. Roll into balls place in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 until done.
I use my little scoop to make the balls uniform! Its one of my favorite and most used kitchen gadgets.