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Recipe Courtesy of Dana Calicchio

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Makes: approx. 28

Special Tools:

  • Large bowl
  • Large frying pan
  • Medium Ice Cream Scoop
  • Paper towels for draining

These are my favorite. Light and fluffy. I have found Frying in olive oil first brings another layer of flavor you don’t get from dropping them raw to cook in sauce and holds them together better. You still get the flavors in your sauce from the meatballs. Adding water also makes them fluffier than adding milk. 

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  • 2 lbs. ground chuck no less than 80/20
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Romano cheese (3/4 finely grated and 3/4 Shredded)
  • garlic powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 TBS. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • 2 cups Olive oil for cooking


  1. In a large bowl place all ingredients and only 1 cup of water. Mix well. Add more water if too dry. Mixture should not be too dry but firm and not too wet.
  2. Take around 2 tablespoons of mix or medium ice cream scoop and form into ball.
  3. Place oil in large frying pan and heat to around 350.
  4. Fry one meatball till browned well on both sides.
  5. Remove and taste for enough salt. If fine roll and fry rest of meatballs. I usually roll one and taste then roll rest in case I need to adjust seasoning.
  6. Once they are cooked put in pot of sauce immediately or place on paper towels to drain, then place in freezer container or plastic zip lock bags and freeze until ready to add to sauce. Can stay in freezer 6 months.