- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 45 min
- Cook time: 40 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Average
- Note + resting time in the fridge for the meatballs
Step into the enchanting world of Italian cuisine with our mouthwatering meatball sandwich, a true delight for your taste buds! Savory and tender pork meatballs, seasoned with a medley of spices and served on your choice of semolina or regular steak rolls, create a symphony of Italian goodness.
Inspired by traditional Italian flavors, our panino features melted Provolone cheese, shaved Pecorino Romano, and a touch of Calabrian chili for that perfect kick of heat. This delectable creation is a celebration of Italian comfort food at its finest.
Whether it's a casual lunch with friends, a family gathering, or a cozy dinner, this sandwich is the ideal choice to savor the heartwarming essence of Italian culture. Enjoy it during a picnic in the park, or simply indulge in its savory goodness at home while watching a classic film.
Embrace the Italian spirit and make any occasion memorable with this authentic and satisfying dish!
Looking for further delicious sandwiches? Check out these recipes:
- for 4 sandwiches
- Rolls 4 - semolina or regular steak
- Mustard 4 tbsp
- Pecorino Romano cheese 4 tbsp - shaved
- Provolone cheese 8 oz (225 g) - sliced
- Fresh chili pepper 2 tbsp - Calabrian, chopped
- For 12 meatballs
- Pork 1 lb (450 g) - ground
- Onions 1 - large
- Parsley to taste
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Smoked paprika 1 tbsp
- Harissa 1 tbsp
- Cumin 1 tbsp
- Eggs 1 - large
- White wine 1 cup (230 ml)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Olive oil to taste
How to prepare the meatballs
Place the ground pork in a large bowl.
Peel the onion and chop it in a small dice (¼-inch cubes). Add to the pork. Finely chop the parsley (stems and leaves) and add it to the pork.
With the side of your knife, smash the garlic cloves on a cutting board, peel them and finely chopped. Alternatively, you can use a garlic press. Add it to the pork.
Add the spices.
Break the egg and add it to the mix.
Season with salt and pepper and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
Set aside in the fridge so all the flavors can come together.
Take the meatballs mix out of the fridge and start forming the meatballs. You can measure 3 tablespoons of meat per each meatball.
To cook the meatballs, get a large sauté pan or cast-iron pan and place in on the stove on high heat. Get the pan very hot and add a drizzle of olive oil.
Add some meatballs to the pan, do not over crowd. You probably have to cook the meatballs in different batches. Get a nice sear one side before flipping them, then add the white wine still on high heat. If you are cooking the meatballs in two batches, add ½ cup per pan.
Let the wine reduce by half, then turn the heat on low, cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked.
How to prepare the broccoli rabe
While the meatball mixture is in the fridge, you can prepare the broccoli rabe.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut half an inch off the bottom part of the broccoli rabe’s stems and once the water is boiling add it to the pot.
In the meantime, in a clean bowl, prepare an ice bath. Cook the broccoli rabe for 4-5 minutes. You can take one of the water to check if they are cooked properly. They need to be bright green and you want the stem to still be crunchy.
When ready move them to the water bath to stop the cooking process and keep the bright color.
Drain them very well: first in a colander, then in a cooking sheet lined with a kitchen towel.
To prepare the seasoning for the broccoli rabe, finely chop the shallots and the garlic.
Take a large sauté pan, don’t turn on the heat yet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, shallots, garlic and anchovies. You can add the anchovies without chopping them as they kind of disintegrate while they are cooking.
Turn on the heat on medium-low and cook for 6-8 minutes. Don’t let the vegetables caramelize, you want to slowly sweat them to bring out the sweetness. You could pass the broccoli rabe on a very hot grill pan or flat top to give some extra flavor from the grill marks, but it is optional.
Now, chop them in a couple of inch pieces and add them to the garlic/shallots pan to mix all those delicious flavors together. Set aside.
How to assemble the sandwich
Turn the oven on at 450F.
Slice the dinner rolls in half, lengthwise.
Spread one tablespoon of mustard in the bottom part of each sandwich.
Add some of the broccoli rabe, top with 3 meatballs each, then grate a tablespoon of Pecorino Romano per sandwich on top of the meatballs, then top with 3 slices of provolone per sandwich.
Put in the oven, open faced, and cook for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted. If you like a nice caramelization on the cheese, you can cook it on the broiler option for 4-5 minutes, making sure the bread doesn’t burn.
Take the sandwiches out of the oven. If you like it spicy drizzle ½ tablespoon, or more, of Calabrian chilies on top of the cheese. Sandwich is ready, buon appetito!
How to store
You can store the cooked meatballs for 2 days in the fridge.