Danielle Kartes, the author of Rustic Joyful Food, is a mom and cook with a passion for simple, flavorful cuisine. Here, she shares her "gourmet" ground beef and pork sausage meatball subs, served on baguettes with buttery tomato sauce, mozzarella, burrata and fresh basil. It reminds us of a Caprese salad with the addition of bread and meat! 

These sandwiches are great with a cold beer, but Danielle also likes to pair them with her Pitcher Grapefuit Cosmos. Both are great summer crowd-pleasers. 


For the Meatball Mixture:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning mix (Danielle likes Season-All)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Tomato Sauce:
  • One 27-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in tomato sauce or juice
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Salt and pepper
The Rest:
  • One 16-ounce baguette, broken into 4 sections
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 8 ounces burrata
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn


Serves: 4, with extra meatballs


Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

For the meatball mixture, in a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, eggs, seasoning mix and salt and pepper to taste. 

In a food processor (or by hand, mincing finely), combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley. Pulse until the consistency is that of a fine crumb. Add the mixture to the meat and mix with a fork until well combined. 

Form the meat into 18 to 20 jumbo-sized meatballs. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the meatballs onto it, spacing them evenly. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 15 to 18 minutes. Leave the oven on. 

For the sauce, in a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, butter, onion and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes. 

To assemble the subs, gently rip or slice open the baguette sections and stuff with a few tablespoons of mozzarella. Place 2 large meatballs inside the bread, then top with sauce and more cheese. Place the stuffed subs back onto the parchment-lined tray and bake 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, then top with more sauce and burrata. Serve with torn basil.