Sometimes all it takes is a good picture to get you motivated to tackle a dish you’ve never made before, but sometimes you also need a plan of attack to get you started. Meatballs on toasted bread can look delicious in pictures, but may offer an element of intimidation. With a sensible plan, you can make meatballs like a confident “chef di cucina,” and with kids helping you roll the meatballs, you can cook up some memories, too.
Moisten some bread pieces with milk, the ingredients that many cooks believe to be crucial to authentic Italian meatballs. Tear up and spread around slices of white bread in a bowl. Then soak the pile with milk and let stand for about 15 minutes. You may substitute bread crumbs in a pinch, but many cooks maintain that this switch results in less substantive meatballs.
Add a few eggs and then your favorite seasonings, such as minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, oregano, basil, dried parsley and chopped onion. Use the same flavorings you would use in meatloaf, such as a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or a bit of tomato paste. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
Add ground sirloin or turkey or make a 50-50 mixture of ground beef or turkey and ground pork. For added flavor, try a mixture of ground beef or turkey with ground pork and veal.
Form the meatballs. Use a small ice cream scoop or your hands to roll meatballs in the size you prefer.
Bake your meatballs in the oven or the broiler, in tandem with how you choose to make the toasted bread. They will shrink as they cook, so you can place the raw meatballs in a baking dish so that they are almost touching. Bake the meatballs until they are nicely brown on top. If you use the broiler, turn them once, halfway through the cooking time.
Line up some paper towels on your counter and place a cooling rack on top. Heat up a sauce, if you’re using one, so that it’s ready and hot for your toasted meatball sandwich.
Remove the meatballs from the oven. Lift them with a ladle and place them on the rack. The meatballs will continue to cook for a few minutes while they rest and await the bread.
Scoop out a little bit of the bread to make a cradle for the meatballs, if desired. Coat the bread or rolls with a thin layer of olive oil and toast for only a short time in the oven or broiler.
Spoon a little bit of sauce on the bread or rolls, then line up the meatballs on the toasted bread and top with sauce. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella or Provolone cheese on top.