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White bowl with meatballs in red sauce - inspired by Daniele Uditi's Pizzana meatballs on The Chef Show.

How’s a Girl Get a Pizzana Reservation?

I haven’t taken photos of these meatballs yet, but I promise, next batch. I was inspired by his technique when I watched Daniele Uditi make meatballs at Pizzana on The Chef Show. Obviously, I don’t have a searing hot wood-fired pizza oven in my house but I thought if I could get close to his recipe and cook them at the highest possible heat (in my oven, that’s 550F), then simmer them in a super simple marinara, perhaps I could get close to his flavors.

We haven’t been to Pizzana yet, but we do have a new Sunday afternoon staple at our house. These meatballs are indescribable. It takes some prep time, but friends, it’s so worth it and you really can’t mess them up. They freeze beautifully, as well (freeze them after the oven sear but remember – you still have to cook them in sauce; they won’t be done until you do.)

Recipe Notes

  • Customize the recipe by using any chili paste you like, any herbs with or in place of the parsley, and by using whatever pasta sauce your family loves.
  • You can substitute the sausage; lamb or veal will work, as will turkey or other ground meats. Just try for something with similar fat content, if it’s not correct, the meatballs won’t sear properly and/or may shrink.
  • Use Romano in place of the Parmesan, but don’t substitute regular breadcrumbs for Panko, Panko is so much less mushy than plain breadcrumbs.
  • The milk is really optional, just helps with mixing.
  • Add any spices and herbs you like.
  • If you need a good marinara sauce – check out our simple meat sauce. To make it with meatballs, simply leave out the ground meat (and veg and mushrooms if you like, it works either way).

Buon Appetito!

Cooking From the Pantry – Nonna’s Meatballs

The very best Italian-style meatballs with a bit of heat, equally perfect for pasta, an appetizer, or meatball sub sandwiches.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian


  • 1 tbs ghee or clarified butter important – oil will burn
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage mild or hot, remove casings
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or other chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 4 cups sauce tomato, marinara, or pasta sauce


  • Preheat oven to 550 degrees Fahrenheit; grease sheet pan with ghee or clarified butter.
  • Mix beef, sausage, and eggs thoroughly by hand in large mixing bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients, mix by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Place meatballs on sheet pans with at least 1/2 inch between (weigh 45g or make by hand approximately the size of golf balls).
  • Place in oven, do not open for 10 minutes. NOTE – They are not done at this point. You must simmer them in a sauce.
  • Remove and carefully place in simmering pasta sauce (enough to cover); simmer for one hour.

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