One of our favorite meals from our vacation this summer was at Meat and Bread in Vancouver. We split their signature porchetta and meatball sandwiches, both of which were ridiculously delicious! I'm planning on attempting a recreation of that porchetta sometime in the future, but since Miles hasn't stopped talking about the meatball sandwich for the past month, I decided to start there first.
I made a few changes -- basil pesto rather than gremolata, a simply spicy tomato sauce rather than sambal -- but I have to say, this tasted pretty close to the original! Needless to say, this is definitely going in our regular dinner rotation.
Spicy Meatball Sandwich with Pesto
makes 4 sandwiches
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine
2 1/2 cups tomato puree (like Pomi)
for serving: ciabatta bread, shaved grana padano (or parmesan), basil pesto
Mix beef, breadcrumbs, basil, egg, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl with a fork or your hands. Use your hands to form the mixture into small meatballs (you should end up with about 12).
Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
Wipe out the pot, then add a bit more olive oil. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown. Stir in the wine and tomatoes.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes over low heat, until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve the meatballs on sliced ciabatta bread with a spread of basil pesto and shaved grana padano or parmesan on top. Enjoy!