Pork and veal balls, mozzarella, and red sauce, all stuffed in a baguette.
Use as much cheese as you like—don't be shy.
for the red sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
½ cup|125 ml red wine
1 ½ teaspoons Spanish paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon frehsly ground black pepper
4 (28-ounce|794 gram) cans whole peeled tomatoes
for the meatballs:
1 pound|500 grams ground veal
1 pound|500 grams ground pork
¼ pound|120 grams ground pork fat
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, ground
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup|240 grams ricotta cheese, as fresh as possible
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup|125 ml whole milk
2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the sando:
1 each large baguette
all of the meatballs in sauce
½ lb smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Put the olive oil in a heavy sauce pot and sweat the garlic, onions, and leeks over medium-high heat until they are translucent and start to take on color, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the red wine and cook off the alcohol, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes and pour a lil' bit of water into the cans to get all the good stuff off the bottom and sides and add to pot. Let the sauce simmer, partially covered, for 30-45 minutes over a super low flame.
4. Pull pan off of the stove and blend the sauce with either a stick blender or in batches with a countertop blender. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
5. While the sauce is cooking, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning by making a small patty out of the mixture and cooking it in a pan. Add salt and pepper if needed. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk; if you'd like it spicier, add more red pepper flakes—you get the idea.
6. Portion the meatballs into 2-ounce balls or eyeball it and make em whatever size your tum tum desires.
7. Sear off the meatballs before braising, if you have a deep fryer, this step will be quick and easy—at 250°F, blanche the balls for a few minutes until they get a crust and the color on the outside darkens. For those without a deep fryer, pour a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil into large heavy bottomed pan, and sear them over medium heat for a few minutes to trap the flavor inside.
8. Heat the oven to 275°F. Place the seared meatballs in a deep roasting pan and cover them with the red sauce. You may have extra sauce, and that's ok. It freezes well. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 2 hours.
9. Remove the meatballs from the oven, but keep the oven on. Cut the baguette into your preferred sandwich lengths and slice them open down the middle.
10. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese inside (use as much cheese as you like, don't be shy). Put the bread in the oven and toast it until the cheese melts.
11. Remove the bread from the oven and line up the meatballs inside the bread (you'll see in the video that I cut the balls in half—it makes for a cleaner sandwich, or maybe I just have a small mouth). Pour some of the red sauce from the meatball pan over the top, sprinkle with more cheese, and enjoy.