Morello's Meatballs

Morello's Meatballs


The secret to chef Kevin Garcia’s meatballs at his restaurant Morello is thick, decadent brioche bread used as breadcrumbs. Garcia believes in an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat, and warns not to overwork your meat mixture. By overworking it, you force out the air and create a dense meatball. He also likes to make his a day advance and let them sit in the sauce before he serves them.

"Although not scientifically proven, meatballs usually taste better the next day, [because] they have time to absorb the flavor of the tomato braise," he tells us.

Click here to see How to Make a Better Meatball.


For the meatballs

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix with your hands. It’s imperative that the ingredients are mixed well but not overmixed. Use olive oil to coat your hands or use rubber gloves to form meatballs. The size of your meatballs is based on personal preference. Brown the meatballs in a frying pan in ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Once they are brown on all sides, take them out and set aside. 


For the sauce

In the same frying pan, add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato purée, parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes. Add the meatballs and simmer for 2 hours with or without a lid on very low heat, stirring occasionally.

For serving

Place 6 meatballs in a single serving, oven-proof dish with some sauce. Lightly sprinkle with grated Fontina cheese. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown and melted. Serve with a piece of Fettunta – which is Tuscan bread rubbed with garlic and brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, then grilled. 


Calories per serving:

1,063 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 58g 90%
  • Carbs 89g 30%
  • Saturated 19g 93%
  • Fiber 17g 67%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 36g
  • Monounsaturated 29g
  • Polyunsaturated 6g
  • Protein 56g 112%
  • Cholesterol 128mg 43%
  • Sodium 1,966mg 82%
  • Calcium 596mg 60%
  • Magnesium 224mg 56%
  • Potassium 2,736mg 78%
  • Iron 15mg 82%
  • Zinc 9mg 57%
  • Phosphorus 757mg 108%
  • Vitamin A 183µg 20%
  • Vitamin C 76mg 126%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 88%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 59%
  • Niacin (B3) 20mg 98%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 98%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 180µg 45%
  • Vitamin B12 3µg 54%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 12mg 59%
  • Vitamin K 173µg 216%
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