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Meatball Sliders

Meatball Sliders

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Meatball SlidersMeatball Sliders    Meatball Sliders    Beef, Fall/Winter

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  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 18 small soft rolls, split horizontally
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 Tbs. Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ cup panko
  • ½ lb. ground veal
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork


Mix all meats, panko, ½ cup water, 6 Tbs. cheese, egg, egg yolk, ¼ cup parsley, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper in a large bowl. Form into 18 2-inch meatballs.

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry meatballs until brown all over. Transfer to plate. Pour off drippings from skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil to skillet. Add onion and basil. Sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add all tomatoes with juices. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Purée the sauce in a food processor until almost smooth. Return to the same skillet. Add the meatballs. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes longer.

Place some arugula leaves on the bottom of each roll, if desired. Top each with one meatball. Drizzle meatballs with some of the sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. parsley and 2 Tbs. cheese. Cover with tops of rolls.


Original recipe calls for 1½ tsp. fennel seeds, which I don't like. If you want to use them, add them to the skillet with the onion and basil.

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Chopping basilChopping basil
To slice or mince basil easily, make a pile of all of the basil leaves, with the largest leaves on the bottom. Roll up the leaves to form a cigarette shape. Slice the basil in 1/8 inch slices, which will give you a chiffonade. If you want the basil minced, simply cut the slices crosswise.

Choosing an Olive Oil
If a recipe calls for olive oil, you may substitute extra virgin olive oil; but if it calls for extra virgin olive oil, we do not suggest substituting any other type of olive oil.

Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im