Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire


Who doesn’t love old recipes?  Who doesn’t love combing two of them into one great new recipe? That might even be better.  I was able to buy up on ground beef, so I was looking for good ground beef recipes for dinner this week.  For inspiration, Tommy and I checked out his lunch menu from school and what should I find right at the top?  Meatball subs!  Normally, I don’t like meatball subs because they are so saucy and…well, saucy.  Figuring I could do better than that, I threw it up on the menu board for this week – Tuesday to be exact.

Firstly, I got the sauce going.  I decided I would make Mario’s basic tomato sauce.  This sauce is so good, I’m in awe every time I make it.


  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 28-ounces peeled whole tomatoes
  • Salt

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

OK, now to the meatballs.  There is only ONE meatball recipe in Mike’s House, that’s from my buddies at the Pacific St. Social Club.  Aside from the meatballs being the best I have ever had, I would lie just to be a part of the club. Old men, drinking wine, making meatballs….it doesn’t get better!


  • 1 cup cubed stale bread (as from an Italian loaf)
  • Milk for soaking the bread
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, such as sirloin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (OK, no Romano or Parmesan, so I used Monterey Jack because that’s what I had and any cheese is good cheese)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the bread with enough milk to just cover and let the bread soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze dry and chop fine.

In a bowl, combine the bread with the meat, garlic, parsley, Romano or Parmesan cheese, eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 12 to 14 meatballs, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and chill until ready to cook.

The original recipe says to brown the meatballs in olive oil and then finish cooking in homemade red sauce (Sunday Gravy).  Instead, I always cook in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes; they never fall apart on me that way.

OK, cut the meatballs in half and also cut the sub rolls in half, too.  Place 4 to 5 meatball halves on one half of the sub roll.  Cover with more shredded Monterey Jack and some basic tomato sauce.


Oh, yeah!  Oh, yeah!  Oh, yeah!


March 3, 2009 - Posted by | Main Dish, Recipe

1 Comment »

  1. Oh yeah! We love meatball subs too. These look good.

    Comment by Sara | March 4, 2009 | Reply

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