Everyone adores a juicy meatball and that’s why practically every country has its own version. It has to be said that this recipe is basically Italian but hugely influenced by the Americans. The Southern Italian immigrants who moved to America at the turn of the century took liberties with the ‘polpetta’ (Italian for meatball) and morphed it into spaghetti and meatballs. Italians don’t usually eat them with pasta: they are more of a snack or a dish on their own.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and soak for a few minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the oil and use your hands to combine well. Wash your hands, then rub them with a little oil: this will keep the mixture from sticking while you roll. Roll the mixture into golf-ball size pieces and place on the prepared tray.
To cook the meatballs, you can pan-fry or bake them. To pan-fry, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs in batches until they are golden all over. Drain on paper towel. Don’t try to turn the meatballs if they are sticking: sometimes they just need more time to brown and then release themselves.
To bake the meatballs,
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