On a Roll

These meatballs spice up the menu at Detroit’s Angelina Italian Bistro


When Angelina Italian Bistro executive chef Joel Vassallo puts baked Italian meatballs on the menu at the restaurant in the Madison Theatre building overlooking Grand Circus Park and the Detroit Opera House, they sell out within an hour. While they make a great main course, they also perform well as cocktail party hors d’oeuvres.

Baked Italian Meatballs with Rustic Marinara Sauce


(Makes 24 2-ounce balls)

2 pounds ground chuck or sirloin
1 pound ground pork shoulder
1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2-to-1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon freshly ground garlic
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rustic marinara as needed (recipe follows)
13x9x2 baking dish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except marinara in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands until well combined. (If too wet, add more bread crumbs. If too dry, add one more egg.)

Shape into 2-ounce balls and place in baking dish. Meatballs may be packed tightly in the baking dish. Ladle sauce over the top, adding as much or as little as you want. Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered, for 15-18 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Rustic Marinara Sauce

1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 6-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 teaspoons ground garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, lightly sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and slowly simmer for 20 minutes.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Shared Plates: September 2018 Winner

Recipe: Harsen's Island Veggie Sandwich

Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney

Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel

Cherry List

In Michigan, life is a bowl of cherries. Following is a collection of miscellany about our colorful crop.

Rocker Recipes

Metro musicians create a rhythmic balance between the kitchen and the stage

Flour Power

The French use the word “terroir” in describing how regional factors, including soil, give a wine its personality. Here in metro Detroit, can our palates discern a home-grown familiarity that tastes of the American Midwest?
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  5. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  6. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  7. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  8. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  9. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  10. 13th Annual Best of Detroit Party
    On June 29, Hour Detroit brought the Best of Detroit issue to life at the 13th annual Best of...