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Sicilian Kobe Meatballs


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
½ pound ground American Kobe steak
½ pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons dried currants or golden raisins


For Sauce: Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices and half of the basil; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, about 1 hour. Stir in remaining basil. Season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.

For Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Mix crumbs and milk in medium bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Mix in Parmesan, onion, basil, egg, garlic and pepper. Add ground Kobe steak, sausage, pine nuts and currants; blend well. Using wet hands, form mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are light brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Add to sauce. Bring sauce and meatballs to simmer. Serve over your favorite pasta.