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Decisions, Decisions

Giant MeatballsWhen I was younger, I remember eating at several fast food restaurants. Carl’s Jr. had those crinkle French fries, Arby’s had a great turkey sandwich, KFC had biscuits that I drenched with butter and honey. I never had such great memories of Burger King.

Sure, Burger King had the Whopper, Jr. which was always better than the plain old cheeseburger I typically ate at McDonalds. But, something was always, well…off.

In my teenage years, I began to get decisive about things in my life. One of those decisions I made was that I did not like the French fries at Burger King. They were not crisp like others but were oily and limp. Yuck!

Another decision I made several years ago was about noodles, pasta, fideos. Call them what you wish, to me they are simply eggs and flour all mixed together. The sauces or other additions could never cause me to waver.

For some reason with the start of this New Year, I have a curiosity if I could once again like pasta. To start with, I thought I would make a dish with a minority of pasta and majority of other things…mainly Giant Meatballs! I figured the meatballs would be like mini meatloaves and the sauce would simply be accompanied by the noodles.

In this dish, the meatballs were delicious, the sauce was rich and tomato-y but I would much rather eaten mashed potatoes instead of noodles. Oh well, maybe next month I will try to face my “pasta-aversion” again.

Any suggestions?

Giant Meatballs

Yield: Makes 16-18 meatballs

Source: Adapted from Real Simple


  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 2 pounds of ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 slices of soft bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of queso fresco
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, onion, bread, garlic, eggs, parsley, milk, oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, and salt. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Mix just to combine.
  3. Shape the mixture into 16 to 18 large meatballs (each should be just more than 1/2 cup). Place in a baking pan and bake at 400F for 20 minutes in the upper third of the oven.
  4. Blend queso fresco with milk until it forms a paste. In a medium bowl, combine the queso fresco paste with the remaining Parmesan cheese and remaining pepper. Remove the meatballs from the oven and turn on the broiler. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each meatball. Broil 3-5 minutes or until the cheese mixture begins to brown.

These Giant Meatballs were made for Seth Godin in honor of the less than enthusiastic review of his new book “Meatball Sundae.” Meatballs for Seth is being hosted by Serge the Concierge.


10 Responses to “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. OK, I love meatballs and giant ones sound even better! I’ll bet these freeze well. Perfect for just popping into a pan of sauce.

    Posted by breadchick | January 21, 2008, 8:41 pm
  2. OMG, how can you not like pasta. I cant imagine my life without it. I love noodles of any kind. Although, Im betting my butt would rather I lay off them for a while. The meatballs looks fantastic. Funny, we just had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

    Posted by slush | January 21, 2008, 9:23 pm
  3. Pasta aversion? Really? I didn’t know such a thing existed.I wish I had ideas.. I could loan you some of my pasta obsession. ;)Either way… beautiful presentation and lovely looking meatballs!

    Posted by culinography | January 21, 2008, 9:37 pm
  4. You know what you made me realize? I’ve never made meatballs! What a shame, since yours look so good.I love the cheese that is melted over them. Queso Fresco, huh? I’ve got to try that.

    Posted by Emiline | January 22, 2008, 4:56 am
  5. I’m really drooling over those meatballs…now did you menmtion something about pasta aversion :-o !!!

    Posted by sunita | January 22, 2008, 5:17 am
  6. Love the idea of the melted cheese on top of the meatballs. Really, who needs the pasta? How about serving them with spaghetti squash?

    Posted by Lydia | January 22, 2008, 8:08 am
  7. Ooh, meatballs! That’s what I’m going to make for supper. Thanks Gretchen!x x

    Posted by Naomi Devlin | January 22, 2008, 9:49 am
  8. I have never known anyone to not like pasta!! But I’d still eat these meatballs every day!

    Posted by Deborah | January 22, 2008, 4:41 pm
  9. Planning to make these Italian meat balls with spaghetti soon; only that mine is going to be vegetarian! Cudnt stop drooling at all these pics and not make them! :-)

    Posted by DK | January 22, 2008, 5:22 pm
  10. Breadchick – The giant ones were fun and I wouldn’t hesitate to try & freeze them.Laurie – It’s true…I am a pasta hater. I actually opted to eat guinea pig over pasta once. Hows that for hate?Culinography – I haven’t quite decided yet if I want to like pasta or not! Thanks for the compliment!Emiline – Get to meatball making – it’s super easy!! Instead of queso fresco mixed with milk, try just using ricotta cheese. Ricotta is found infrequently here. Sunita – Thanks!Lydia – The cheese was delicious on top! I used to love eating spaghetti squash instead of pasta, it is just that I cannot get it here! Naomi – You are more than welcome!Deborah – I know, people always look at me funny!DK – Hope you enjoy them!

    Posted by Gretchen Noelle | January 24, 2008, 10:01 am

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