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Some of our favorite guests on our show are the littlest ones. At 11 years old, Ivy Childs has serious culinary skills! Here, she shares her favorite meatballs in tomato sauce, which she serves two ways—on bruschetta (shown in photo) or in sub rolls: "Starter or dinner, this recipe's always a winner!" she says. "They're perfect for any family dinner or a party. Kids love them!" She calls them "Angelina's" meatballs, after her friend from Italy, who taught her "how to make all things Italian."  

Pro Tip from Ivy: I use good jarred tomato sauce, but you can make your own sauce/gravy, if you like. 


  • Two 24-ounce jars good tomato sauce (see Tip)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parm, plus more to garnish
  • Salt
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix (combo of ground veal, pork and beef)
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus more to garnish
  • 1 slice of any bread
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 loaf of good Italian bread (if making for a starter) or 4 to 6 Italian sub rolls (if making for dinner)


Serves: 24 as a starter or 4 to 6 for dinner


Pour the sauce into a medium pot and slowly bring to a simmer. You may have to add some water to loosen the sauce. 

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then whisk in the Parm and a dash of salt. Add the meatloaf mix and mix with your hands. Add a dash of olive oil and the garlic and parsley and mix them in with your hands. 

In a separate small bowl, drench the slice of bread in the milk, then mix the soaked bread into the meat mixture along with a splash of the milk remaining in the bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and form a nice big ball.  

If you are making the meatballs for a starter, form 24 bouncy ball-size balls. If you are making them for dinner, form fewer golf ball-size balls. Drop the balls into the simmering sauce and cook until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and prep the bread. 

For a starter: Slice the loaf of bread into 1-inch slices, lightly brush with olive oil, top with salt and pepper and broil. To serve, place the meatballs on top of the bread slices and top with a little extra Parm and parsley.  

For dinner: Open the sub rolls, lightly brush with olive oil, top with salt and pepper and broil. To serve, spread sauce on each roll, place meatballs on top and top with a little extra Parm and parsley.