Stovetop Italian Meatballs

1¾ pounds ground beef

¾ cup crushed soda crackers

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried parsley

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove, smashed, peeled, and finely chopped

About 5 teaspoons water, divided

About 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

  • In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, crushed crackers, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix in 3 teaspoons of the water. Continue adding water 1 teaspoon at a time as needed until the mixture is lightly moistened — not too dry or too wet.

  • Form the mixture into balls approximately 1½ inches in diameter.

  • Melt 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add half the meatballs and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Clean out the frying pan, add the remaining olive oil, and cook the remaining meatballs.

Cooking Meat to Perfection

To keep hot fat from splattering when browning meat, sprinkle flour on the bottom of the skillet before adding the meat. You also can add water as the meat cooks.

Yields 30–34 meatballs

Getting meatballs to cook through evenly in the frying pan can be a challenge. One trick is to shake the pan during cooking to help the meatballs retain their round shape. If that doesn't work, finish the meatballs off by simmering in beef broth.

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