This is a wonderful make ahead Freezer Meal. It's the perfect sandwich for a hungry crowd.
Author: Betsy Edwards
For the Sandwiches:
36meatballsSee recipe below
1(24 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I use Prego Three Cheese)
2(6 count) packagesHoagie Buns
2sticks softened butter(16 tablespoons total)
1 1/2teaspoonsgarlic salt
Special Equipment if Making and Freezing
(1 gallon-size)freezer bags
For the Meatballs (makes 36 medium-small meatballs)
2cupsbreadcrumbs made from white sandwich breadcrusts removed, bread torn into pieces
3garlic cloves- minced
1cupgrated Parmesan cheese
1 ½poundsground beef- 90% lean
½poundsweet Italian sausage(do not use hot), casings removed
Assemble meatballs following instructions below.
While meatballs are baking, slice hoagies in half lengthwise. To reduce the amount of bread proportionate to the meatballs, if necessary remove another ½ inch or so from each cut side, so thickness of each bun half is 1 1/2 inch. You can remove some of the bottom bun to form a ‘canoe’ like shape to better hold the meatballs. Combine butter and garlic salt. Generously spread butter on cut of each bun.
To serve, heat meatballs and sauce in a pan on medium high heat until hot.
Place buns, cut side up, under broiler. Broil until golden brown. Set bun tops aside.
Place 3 meatballs on each bottom bun and ladle sauce over meatballs. Place 1 slice of provolone cheese on top of sauce. Place sandwich (open face without top bun) under broiler until cheese is melted.
Place top bun on sandwich and serve.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Place both halves of toasted bun back together. Wrap buns in foil or plastic wrap. Place buns and mozzarella cheese in 1 gallon freezer bags. When meatballs are finished cooking, freeze on a baking sheet then transfer frozen meatballs in 1 gallon freezer bag. Freeze meatballs and buns for up to 4 months. When ready to cook: Place frozen garlic bread, meatballs and mozzarella in refrigerator to thaw until ready to eat.
To Make the Meatballs:
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees
Tear bread into rough chunks and pulse in the food processor until reduced to fine crumbs.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk and seasonings. Stir in garlic and onion. Add breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Stir to combine.
Add ground beef and Italian sausage meat (make sure you discard the sausage casing). Gently combine mixture with your hands, working the mixture into golf-ball size balls uniform in size (so they cook at the same time). The light touch of your hands will incorporate all of the ingredients without crushing the meat. You don't want to over-mix into a paste, instead make sure full pieces of ground meat are still visible. Makes 35 - 36 meatballs
Place the balls on a large rimmed baking sheet as you work.
Bake at 475 degrees F for 20 minutes until no longer pink inside (160 degrees internal temperature).
Remove from oven and when cooled slightly remove meatballs from sheet. Pour grease off sheet and scrape browned meatball bits into the spaghetti sauce.