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Playing Meatball Patty Melts


For the Warm Balsamic Marinara Ketchup:
  • For the Warm Balsamic Marinara Ketchup:
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • A few leaves basil, torn
For the Sandwiches:
  • For the Sandwiches: 2 slices white bread, crusts trimmed and crumbled
  • Milk, to soak bread
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef and pork combined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons onion, grated or 2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 8 slices good quality Italian-American bread with sesame crust, 3/4 inch thick
  • Melted garlic butter, for brushing
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese (deli sliced)


Serves: 4


Combine garlic, tomato paste and stock in small pot, and stir to warm and loosen tomato paste. Add vinegar, brown sugar, oregano, red pepper and tomato sauce, and bring sauce to a bubble. Add basil and reduce heat to low simmer, simmer to thicken, 20 minutes.

Soak torn and crumbled bread in milk to soften. Place the ground meats in bowl. Squeeze excess milk from bread, add the crumbs to meat and season with salt and pepper. Add parsley, garlic, onion or granulated onion, and grated cheese; mix to combine.

Form 4 large patties making them thinner at the center for even cooking. Drizzle hot grill or griddle over medium-high heat with olive oil, cook patties about 8-9 minutes turning once and remove.

Brush 1 side of sliced bread with garlic butter. Build 4 sandwiches with buttered sides facing out layering bread, ketchup, mozzarella cheese, patty, provolone cheese, ketchup and bread. Griddle or grill until deeply golden and melted. Pass any extra ketchup at table.