7 Meatball Making Tips from Celebrity Chef Michele Ragussis

No matter how many times I’ve made meatballs in my lifetime for some reason I can’t ever get them to taste like my Grandmother’s. Maybe its just the love that she put into them or just the fact that they were made by an ACTUAL Italian Grandma. That being said I decided to turn to the closest person I know to an Italian Grandmother; my longtime friend, Chef Michele Ragussis (she’s going to kill me when she reads this haha).

A few weekends back on a frosty winter day I was craving a pot of warm meatballs but was too lazy to make them myself. What does one do? Well, I am lucky enough to have the luxury of being friends with a talented old school Italian chef so I sent her an “SOS; I need meatballs” text. She agreed to share some of her family secrets and techniques and it seemed I couldn’t get over to her place quick enough! Chef Michele Ragussis has been rolling meatballs almost longer than I’ve been alive (haha, again, going to KILL ME). Her Italian roots and passion for cooking have played a huge role in putting her meatballs at the top of anybody’s favorites list and it’s quite interesting to see her family styles and traditions. Here are some of the tips she shared with me that have upped my meatball making game tremendously. Just thought I’d share.

  1. Don’t focus so much on the measurements but focus more on meat quality and fat content.
  2. Cheese quality is also very important. This is a bit more costly but makes a huge difference. Chef Michele uses a good quality parmesan Reggiano cheese.
  3. Switch out breadcrumbs for bread chunks soaked in whole milk. Helps keep the moisture in the meat. Make sure to squeeze out excess milk before adding to the meat mixture.
  4. Always use fresh herbs. Never dried herbs.
  5. 1 egg per 2lbs of meat.
  6. Season your mixture really well with salt and pepper.
  7. BEFORE you roll ALL your meatballs, roll one and cook it to test for seasoning. It’s never the same seasoning after the fact.

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