Katie Parla’s Perfect Italian Meatballs

Katie Parla is a Rome-based New York Times bestselling cookbook author and food and beverage critic. She lives, breathes, and of course eats, food. But more specifically, she’s a leading expert on Italian food. And meatballs are nothing if not Italian. Taking a leaf out of her new book, The Joy of Pizza, written with Razza chef Dan Richer, Parla breaks down the steps and ingredients of making the best batch of meatballs you’ll ever taste. Trust us, we’ve made them!

“I never just make two meatballs, so as long as you are preparing them for pizza, you might as well make a proper batch. You can roast the meatballs in a wood burning oven, too.”



  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 4 cups (275 grams) day-old country/artisan bread, crusts removed, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk or buttermilk
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 grams (½ teaspoon) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Oil lightly.
  • Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and set aside to soak.
  • Meanwhile, combine the pork, beef, onion, tomato sauce, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gently squeeze out any excess liquid from the bread mixture so the bread is not dripping but is thoroughly moistened. Fold in the meat mixture.
  • Form the mixture into loose balls approximately the size of a golf ball and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast until deeply caramelized on the outside and cooked through on the inside, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • The cooled meatballs will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.