The Ultimate Meatball Sub

Behold, I give unto you the mother of all meatball subs. I had made one of these years ago, but have since lost the recipe. After making this amazing spaghetti and meatball dish I sorta resurrected a new found love for meatballs, so I decided to try and re-create that meatball sub. But not just any meatball sub, I was on a mission to create the best. I started with these homemade hoagies, mostly because I forgot to buy sub rolls while I was busy spending $270 on a week’s worth of groceries at Pak n’ Save. I never thought I’d say this, but I really miss Walmart. Anyways, I just so happened to come across this recipe and decided I’d rather make them from scratch than go back to the store. They turned out amazing, like such a delicious flavor and texture. Store bought would work just fine, but for the ultimate experience I would go homemade. Here’s the recipe if you feel so inclined…

Back to my story. So I got the bread situation covered and then it was on to the meatballs. I decided to go with a mozzarella stuffed meatball, because, hello, cheese. Then I found a delicious homemade marinara sauce to simmer them in (although if you’re in a time crunch a store bought marinara sauce would work too since the meatballs take center stage). And then to top it all off I came across a recipe that suggested spreading garlic butter on the subs before toasting them and it was a done deal. All the different recipes and tips came together to create the most beautiful meatball sub your eyes could ever behold. It even got my husband home early from work when he heard what I was making for dinner. You know what they say, men can’t resist a woman with a good meatball sub. At least that’s what I hear.

8 hoagie buns (homemade recipe here)
16 slices mozzarella cheese
6 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley (plus more to garnish)

For the meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch squares

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup beef broth
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well until combined. Roll meat into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Use your finger to create a hole in the center of the ball and place a piece of cheese inside then re-roll ball to cover the cheese. Repeat with remaining meat and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. While the meatballs are baking, prepare sauce. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch and broth. Let simmer for 2 additional minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil and salt. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Once baked meatballs are done, carefully add them to the sauce. On low heat, simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.  Turn oven up to 400. Slice hoagies in half lengthwise. Mix 6 Tbs melted butter, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp dried parsley then brush on each slice of bread then cook for 4-5 minutes or until just lightly toasted. Remove from oven, put 3-4 meatballs on each sub, spoon on a little more marinara sauce, top with 2 mozzarella slices and sprinkle with a little dried parsley. Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve nice and hot.

*Source: Oh Sweet Basil, Center Cut Cook, Spoonful of Flavor

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