about 12 meatballs

1  1/2 # ground beef

2 large eggs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves minced garlic

2 T chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup fine chopped onion

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (unseasoned)

2 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

2T olive oil (plus more for cooking)

pinch red pepper flakes

Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, add the garlic and saute on low heat another minute or two. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl including the onions and garlic and the oil they were cooked in. Mix until everything is well combined.

To form the meatballs- i find using a spring-action ice cream scoop works best- one that is about 2 inches in diameter- this will produce uniform balls. Moisten your hands with cool water to prevent the mixture from sticking and roll each portion between your palms to form a ball .Place on a plate. Repeat.

To brown the meatballs- place a large saute pan over med heat and add  generous layer of olive oil. When the oil is hot -add the meatballs- being careful not to crowd them so they will brown and not steam. Cook the meatballs, turning them frequently until they are crusty and brown on all sides. Do in batches if they don’t all fit in the pan. Browning will take about 8-10 minutes.

Add the meat balls into a saucepan filled with your favorite red sauce. Simmer on low and baste frequently with a spoon until they are cooked through and the sauce is warmed. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Famed Italian cook, Lidia Bastianich, markets her sauces and I think that they are among the best jar red sauces- when too busy to make my own or run to Broders for their Sugi Betti- i always have a jar of this on hand.

Variation: Make mini meatballs for a yummy warm sandwich. I like to use individual ciabatta rolls. Cut in half (short way) move the dough with your fingers to form a pocket. Add some mozzarella . Wrap in foil and warm in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Tuck a little meatball or 2 that have been warming in sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Have extra sauce for dipping and plenty of napkins.