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California Living reveals secret to make authentic Italian meatballs

Learn how to make authentic Italian meatballs that are so melt-in-your-mouth soft and delicious, your family and guests will beg you for more. You see, there is one secret ingredient that makes Grandma Rose's authentic Italian meatballs recipe so amazing, which has been handed down and cherished in my family for generations.

Learn the secret ingredient and how to make meatballs with California Living host Aprilanne Hurley

Keep in mind, it's not everyday you'll come across an Italian meatball recipe this authentic, which makes today the perfect time to get in touch with your "inner Italian" (even if you're not italian) and try your hand at making Grandma Rose's "Party Girl Diet Approved" authentic Italian meatballs to serve your family, friends or that special someone tonight.


Makes 18 - 24 medium-sized meatballs

  • 2 pounds total - combination of ground lean beef, veal and pork

  • 2-3 eggs depending on size, slightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup or more - finely chopped onion
2-3 hotdog rolls, chopped finely (The "secret" ingredient that makes Grandma Rose's authentic Italian Meatballs melt-in-you-mouth soft...see additional details in Method section below.)
  • About 1/2 cup of skim milk or more for consistency
  • Large bunch of Italian Parsley chopped fine/leaves only
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Heaping tsp salt
 (Use iodized sea salt - which is better for you than regular table salt)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp fine grind black pepper

Method - how to make Italian meatballs Grandma Rose's way:

1. Soak chopped bread in milk till it is nice and mushy
2. Add eggs, parsley, onions, cheese, salt and pepper and mix well
3. Add chopped meat and mix well using your *hands; there is no alternative
4. When thoroughly mixed, form into meatballs by rolling in your palms. You should make 18 to 24 meatballs.
5. Place meatballs in lightly oiled, olive of course, cookie tin and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Be careful not overcook.

The meatballs may be browned in a frying pan; however, the baking method is easier...and healthier.
When cool, remove meatballs from pan and scrape off any fat that has formed. If you make more than you need or want to freeze some to enjoy at another time, lay them out on a cookie sheet and cover well - to freeze for later use.

Add to a pot of your favorite fresh tomato spaghetti sauce recipe, and serve as a main course with a big, crisp green salad, or as a side dish with your favorite pasta ~ Bueno Fortuna

*A little background on this recipe: Italian cooking styles and coveted italian family recipes such as those established in my Grandma Rose generation did not call for hard measurements in recipes, but rather cooked with their senses, determining how much of a particular ingredient the recipe needed depending on how the food looked, tasted, and even felt, adding more cheese, or spices etc., to perfect the texture, consistency, and flavor of a dish.

With this authentic Italian “cooking culture” in mind, the above is the official recipe known as “Grandma Rose’s Authentic Italian Meatballs,” compliments of Joe Mack, Grandma Roses’ eldest son, who recommends tasting one as soon as it’s cool enough, “because that’s when they taste the best.”

For a fun, entertaining, step-by-step guide on how to make meatballs - check out the "Making Meatballs with Graziano & Aprilanne" California Living™ TV segment on this page, which originally aired primetime in the San Francisco, Calif. market.

Recipe credits: Grandma Rose’s Authentic Italian Meatballs Recipe is one of 2-weeks of delicious, healthy and delicious recipes featured in the Party Girl Diet book, available on

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