How to Make the Best Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Here are 4 surefire tips for acing this Italian classic and making the best meatballs in tomato sauce ever!

1. The meat

After multiple tests, we found that veal made for the most tender meatballs. To maintain the delicate texture of this meat, it’s best to mix it using your hands rather than mechanically.

2. The cheese

We decided to use fresh Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) because of its mild taste and well-balanced saltiness. And we recommend a 1:3 cheese-to-meat ratio. Using more cheese than that would overpower the taste of the other ingredients. Finely grated cheese that looks like snow will ensure your meatballs have a uniform texture. Ask your cheesemonger to do it for you or get out your microplane and grate away.

3. The bread

Fresh bread soaked in milk gave us the texture we were looking for. We prefer ordinary sliced white sandwich bread for perfectly moist meatballs.

4. The cooking method

We chose not to brown our meatballs because it formed an undesirable crust and dried them out. Meatballs that simmer directly in the sauce, however, are so soft you can cut them with a spoon. Bonus: The tomato sauce infuses the meatballs with flavourful acidity and umami.