Yields: 8-10 Servings
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
6 ounces ground beef
6 ounces ground veal
6 ounces ground pork
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella or bocconcini drained and slice
1 loaf of Italian bread toasted or 1 dozen slider buns
2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves chopped
To make the meatballs: Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the beef, veal, and pork. Using about 2 tablespoons of meat for each, shape the meat mixture.
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Working in 2 to 3 batches, add the meatballs and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Add Bellisari’s Calabrian and Sweet Tomato Fennel Spread and sliced cheese. Transfer the pan into the oven. Bake at 425F uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (reached internal temperature of 165F).
Remove the pan from the oven. Garnish with the remaining whole basil leaves, sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper and grated Parmesan on top and serve immediately with either sliced Italian bread or slider buns.