BetsaPasta Updated & Healthier Meatball Recipe for 2023

Let me start by saying after some research “sustainable meat” is safer meat. Consumer Reports tested 458 pounds of ground beef from all sorts of stores for bacteria. They defined “sustainable” on a scale starting with meat raised without hormones and leading up to the safest (grass-fed organic beef), which, for a whole variety of reasons including a longer time to maturation, is more expensive than conventionally raised beef. I might add that $4.99 lb. for 85/15 (fat content) is not really much more than prices anywhere else. And while Consumer Reports does not recommend any particular store, Whole Foods ticks most of the boxes for safer beef.

Bottom Line: I now use Whole Foods exclusively when it comes to buying ground beef (veal and pork as well) for my meatballs, beef burgers etc. because Consumer Reports says their “sustainable” meat tested for fewer harmful bacteria and E. coli, and as a baseline, Whole Foods promises to sell nothing that has been treated with hormones. It also tastes phab!

One more thing…I’ve found many folks are sensitive to garlic…so I decided to remove garlic from this recipe to see if it really makes a difference in the flavor and it doesn’t. For sure if you want garlic in this recipe, simply use whatever amount you want and saute it in with the shallots.

Short and sweet…here is my new updated recipe showing all my chosen ingredients. BTW…since some Kosher  clients of mine can’t eat the pork version, all beef would be the way to go.

So…here goes…


2-2 1/4 lbs beef, veal, pork blend in equal amounts…or just the 85/15 beef. The ’15’ represents the fat content and this choice for me takes into consideration the taste 15% fat gives the meatballs and also addresses the health issue to some degree. 80/20 blend for me is too much fat, especially when frying meatballs. 

2 extra large whole egg yolks whisked

3/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups no trans-fat seasoned Panko bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. dried oregano 

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

1.5 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2 cups EVOO (When I use olive oil, it’s always extra virgin…ie…EVOO)

3 large shallots / coarse chopped (Shallots have a sweet and mild (although pronounced) flavor with a hint of garlic)

2 tsp. kosher salt and 12 or so grinds fresh pepper

1/2 cup Heinz ketchup…that’s right, ketchup (recommend Simply Heinz with no high fructose corn syrup)

*Saute’ the shallots in 2 Tbsp. EVOO* until transparent. Set aside to cool.
*Place beef or beef blend in a bowl and add breadcrumbs, whisked egg yolks, Parmigiano Reggiano, cooled caramelized shallots, parsley, ketchup, oregano, salt and fresh ground pepper

*Blend with your hands until mixed well and shape into large golf ball size balls. Be gentle when rolling your meatballs…do not hard pack. 

*Using half of the EVOO, cook the first batch on both sides until brown…remove from the oil and lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat this process for the second batch changing the oil once. In this manner, there will be no burnt meat attaching itself second batch and the flavor will be unaffected.

(Suggestion: you can use the wiped dry empty can of tomatoes used to make your sauce to carefully pour out first round of hot oil).

*I do not add meatballs to the sauce. I Serve along side or on top of the pasta dish ladling sauce at that time (see top pic)
*EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yield: About 30 meat balls

Please feel free to comment in the box below. I always love to hear your input or suggestions.

Mangia Baby!,


    3 thoughts on "BetsaPasta Updated & Healthier Meatball Recipe for 2023"

    Joel says:

    The post on the Hershel’s Deli pastrami sandwich may force me to break my no-red-meat rule, I’ve never seen food pictures that looked so mouth watering as yours.

    22278979 says:

    Thank you for your comment!
    Sincerely appreciate your input and appreciation of my pics.


    Larry Feigenbaum says:

    My wife and I decided to visit Vincent’s on New Years Eve. Haven’t visited since my birthday back in June with my family. I was not disappointed. You can get Italian food anywhere. But great Italian seafood dishes are far and few. I decided on the Snapper Abruzzese. The Gnocci was cooked to perfection, the snapper was not as firm as I would have liked, but it still was tremendous because of the breaded crust. The lemon butter sauce really set the entire plate off because neither the butter nor the lemon overtook each other. The spinach is a nice touch. And for dessert they torched the fresh Brûlée at the table. The service was absolutely impeccable. I have been going there with my wife (driving in from Brooklyn) for several years. Met Bobby, the owner, for the first time last night and he is truly a great gentleman. We always complimented the best in the Army with a big hooah. HOOAH Vincent’s

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