This recipe is from my Italian grandmother. The one change she made to get with the times was to use Ragu sauce instead of homemade, and she declared that it still tasted just as good. It's never failed to impress the people I make it for. My husband says these meatballs have forever ruined him to other people's, or even restaurant meatballs. The real secret is in the time you take to slowly cook the meatballs in the sauce. Don't skimp and just toss the sauce on and eat it. It will still taste good, but not anything like it should be. The raisins are meant to absorb the acidity and impart a little sweetness to the sauce. This recipe can easily be multiplied to feed more people.
- Mix ground beef, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, basil, parmesan cheese, and parsley until combined. Do not overwork meatball mixture.
- Make golfball size meatballs with meatball mixture.
- Brown meatballs in a frying pan over medium heat, or bake at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.
- Combine browned meatballs in a pot with sauce and raisins.
- Cook covered, simmering gently over low heat, for at least 3 hours and up to 5 hours, stirring gently occasionaly.
- If sauce becomes too thick over the course of cooking, a small amount of water can be added to thin it.
- Serve over spaghetti, on rolls, or however your heart desires.
Wonderful authentic Italian meatballs! I baked the meatballs for 10 minutes at 475F to brown, then simmered as directed for 3 hours. Great flavor, and they were moist and tender without falling apart. I used these for meatball sandwiches and we enjoyed a great meal - thanks for sharing your recipe! Made for Fall PAC 2009