10 ounces ground pork
10 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground prosciutto (see Note)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 bunch parsley, minced
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound good-quality Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
1 quart pureed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 bunch basil, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, beef and prosciutto by hand and season generously with salt, pepper flakes, fennel seed and oregano. Add the onion, garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese and mix by hand. Put the bread cubes in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add the breadcrumbs, the ricotta and milk to the meat mixture and continue to mix by hand. Add the eggs, stirring until barely incorporated (do not overmix). Form the mixture into about two dozen 1 1/2-inch balls and place in an oiled roasting pan. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes. When done, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
For the braising liquid: Meanwhile, in a large, ovenproof saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and bay leaf and cook until the carrot is softened and the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, then add the tomatoes, stock, basil and oregano. Heat for 5 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drain the fat off of the meatballs and pour the braising liquid over them (they should barely be covered). Bake the meatballs at 300° for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to cool in the braising liquid. Skim off the excess fat.
To serve, reheat the meatballs in the braising liquid, finishing the dish with Parmesan and olive oil.
Note: Roughly chop a 4-ounce piece of prosciutto (ends work well) and grind in the food processor.