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Meatball Melties

Serves 4

Here’s Rach’s keeper of a recipe for a great meatball sandwich.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork and veal mix
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • A splash of whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon rubbed or ground sage
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for generous drizzling
  • 8 deli slices mild or sharp provolone cheese
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
  • A few leaves fresh basil, torn
  • A pinch of dried oregano or marjoram
  • 4 ciabatta rolls or 1/4 large ciabatta loaf, split and warmed or toasted


  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine the meat mixture, breadcrumbs, parsley, Pecorino Romano cheese, egg, garlic, onion, milk and sage; season with nutmeg, salt and lots of pepper. Form the mixture into four patties (thinner at the center and thicker at the edges for even cooking).
  2. Wash your hands after handling the raw meat.
  3. Drizzle the burgers all over with a liberal amount of EVOO. Place in the hot skillet and cook, turning once, for 10 minutes. Top each burger with two slices of provolone and tent with foil to melt.
  4. While the burgers are working, in a medium saucepan, heat the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and oregano; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the burgers on the roll bottoms, then top with the sauce and roll tops.