Add the bread cubes to a saucer and pour the milk over them. Toss the bread cubes to coat in milk; set aside at least 5-minutes while the bread absorbs the milk.
Next chop the shallot, garlic, and parsley. After they are chopped lightly squeeze out the excess milk from the bread cubes.
Assemble the meatballs:
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix the meatball mixture lightly with clean, wet hands to incorporate all the ingredients. Do not over mix or squeeze the meat too hard. Overworking the meat will cause the meatballs to be tough.
After the meatball mixture is well incorporated, use a two-inch scoop to form (24) 2-inch meatballs. (There’s no law that says you have to have exactly twenty-four 2-inch meatballs. Make them any size you want, but make sure they are equal in size so that they cook consistently.)
Place the meatballs on a broiling pan or foil-lined sheet pan. Place the pan of meatballs into the oven and bake, until lightly crisp and golden brown; about 20 to 30 minutes.
When the meatballs are nice and golden brown, remove them from the oven and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to braise for at least 20 minutes and not a minute less. Don’t worry, it is really hard to overcook meatballs when they are in the sauce.
Serve the meatballs over pasta, with extra parmesan cheese, and fresh basil, or even topped on a big sub roll. Yum!
Freezing, Defrosting & Reheating
These meatballs are the perfect make-ahead dish for freezing! You can freeze them either uncooked or cooked, for up to three to four months, while cooked ground beef is safe for two to three months.
To Freeze Uncooked Meatballs:
Simply line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the meatballs on the prepared cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer for about one to two hours (set a timer so you don’t forget them). When the meatballs are frozen, remove the sheet when the meatballs are frozen and transfer them to freezer-safe zip-top bags or containers.
To Freeze Cooked Meatballs:
Allow the cooked meatballs to cool slightly, then freeze them immediately.
To Defrost & Reheat Uncooked Meatballs:
Remove the package of frozen meatballs from the freezer the day before you are ready to cook them and place the frozen package of meatballs in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Then cook as directed in this recipe.
Empty the frozen meatballs into a microwave safe dish and defrost according to microwave settings, then cook immediately. However, I don’t like defrosting meat in the microwave, because I find it hard not to cook the meat regardless of what settings I use.
To Defrost & Reheat Cooked Meatballs:
If you’ve frozen meatballs with sauce, reheat the meatballs in sauce in the oven or in a skillet on the stove top.Calories are based on the Italian meatballs alone, without extra toppings, sauce or pasta.
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