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"This was inspired by a commercial for sub shops," laughs Rach. "I hate admitting that, but it's the truth!" Her sub contains spicy sausage and beef meatballs in tomato-basil sauce served on rolls slathered with seasoned ricotta. It is easy to make (the meatballs are baked, not fried) and is a fantastic combo, especially on game day. "Try getting that at the drive-through!" she says.
For the ricotta slather, combine the ingredients in a bowl.
For the sauce, heat a large skillet with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat.
Melt butter into oil, add garlic and stir a minute. Add tomatoes, hand-crushed with juice, stir in passata and add basil, then season with salt and simmer over low heat.
For the meatballs, moisten the breadcrumbs with milk and soften.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place meats in bowl and add the bread, wringing out the excess milk. Season with salt and pepper, then add egg, garlic, onion, cheese, parsley, oregano, fennel pollen or seeds and EVOO. Combine meatball mix and roll into about 1 ½-inch balls (think 5 per sub). Bake the meatballs until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes, then add to sauce.
Slather the inside of rolls with ricotta and fill with meatballs. Garnish subs with basil.