So, my tiny kitchen does not have a garbage disposal (or a dishwasher, or a microwave, or a normal sized oven or dishwasher... but that's beside the point). Luckily, I have a human garbage disposal. My parents call Tim "The Finisher," because whenever there's food left on a plate, he finishes it (I know, you just didn't see that coming). Tim makes it much less painful not having a garbage disposal when I'm cleaning up, although it's not as helpful when I'm cooking since I haven't yet convinced him to eat my cooking scraps (unless it's cheese, because he is a human being).
Last month, The Finisher and I went on a road trip and stopped for dinner at God's Gift to Earth, Wawa. As we headed to the car, I suggested we eat in the parking lot so Tim wouldn't have to drive and eat his 12 inch meatball sub at the same time. Considerate, right? Tim said he could manage both (ha), so we continued on our way and didn't stop again until we arrived. Remember, it was nighttime, so it was pretty dark in the car, which meant that we didn't notice until we got out that Tim was COVERED in meatballs and marinara sauce. And I mean take-that-jacket-to-the-dry-cleaners-immediately-or-maybe-even-throw-it-out covered. We get a good laugh out of it (okay, I get a good laugh out of it), still have a lovely trip, and head home at the end of the weekend. On our drive back, we see another Wawa, and... you guessed it, HE DID IT AGAIN.
It was on this trip that I learned of Tim's undying love for meatball subs and was inspired to try to make my own at home. This recipe is for the whole thing, but if you prefer to have your meatballs solo or with pasta, feel free to stop reading once you hit the bread step.
Meatball Subs on Garlic Bread
Serves 4 (or 2 if you freeze the other half of your meatballs pre-cooking)
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- pinches of salt throughout
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 4 good shakes of garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 28 oz can of tomato puree
- 4 small soft French bread loaves
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 ball of mozzarella
Put pork, beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, water, parsley, parmesan, a pinch of salt, red pepper flakes if you want them, garlic powder, and one tablespoon of minced garlic in a big mixing bowl. Wash your hands. Use your clean hands to mix everything together (or use a spoon, fine, whatever). Use these same clean hands (/spoon) to form ping-pong sized meatballs and place them on a clean, portable surface (I used my cutting board). Place meatballs in the fridge 20-30 minutes to set.
In a large pot or pan (whatever it is, it needs to have a lid and be able to fit a bunch of meatballs and the can of tomato puree), add the olive oil over low/medium heat. Sautee another tablespoon of garlic and more red pepper flakes if you want them until it all smells nice (30 seconds to a minute) and add tomato puree, letting it simmer for 10 minutes. Add meatballs, make sure the mixture is still gently simmering, and cover for 25 minutes - DO NOT remove the cover during this time, unless you like raw meat (/salmonella).
While your meatballs are cooking, slice the bread loaves in half lengthwise and broil til nice and crispy, inside-side down. Melt butter, remaining garlic, and pinch of salt in a small saucepan (or whatever clean pan you have left). Brush/pour the mixture over the inside-side of the bread and put back under the broiler, also until nice and crispy. Seriously, make sure it's nice and crispy - otherwise your bread will get mushy when you add the meatballs and sauce like mine did the first time I made this.
Add meatballs and sauce to the loaves, top with mozzarella slices, broil until the cheese is melted, and enjoy!