Meatballs Benedict

Adapted by
December 2011
Yield: 24 servings


Traditional Tomato Sauce
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
6 fresh basil leaves
2 36-ounce cans peeled tomatoes, passed through a food mill
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Traditional Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1¼ cups plain bread crumbs
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
¾ cup whole milk
3 eggs
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, torn (not chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
To Asemble and Serve
24 pieces crusty bread
24 poached eggs
hollandaise sauce


For the Traditional Tomato Sauce:
Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and basil and cook gently for 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves. Adjust the seasoning and reserve.

For the Traditional Meatballs:
Rinse the beef and pork together in a colander under cold running water. Drain thoroughly, gently stirring occasionally to help drain well. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Pecorino, milk, and eggs. Set aside, allowing the bread crumbs to absorb the liquid for 10 minutes. Heat a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, being careful to not brown the garlic.

Combine the meat, bread crumb mixture, and spiced oil in the bowl and mix together with your hands. Form into 2 ½-inch diameter balls and reserve.

In a large, wide saucepot, bring the Traditional Tomato Sauce to a boil and gently drop each ball into the sauce. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Do not boil the sauce or the meatballs will shrivel up and become hard. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat balls; it should not exceed 160°F.

To Assemble and Serve:
Line the crusty bread on a platter. Top each piece with a Traditional Meatball and the Traditional Tomato Sauce. Place a poached egg on top of each and top with the hollandaise sauce.