lambo's deli meatball recipe

How to make Lambo’s Deli’s meatballs

“This dish is inspired by my father’s famous meatballs,” says Justin Leon of Lambo’s Deli‘s meatball recipe. “Pre-COVID-19, my dad would host Sunday dinner at his house, and his meatballs were always the talk of the table. He uses a blend of beef, pork and veal, combined with Wonder Bread soaked in milk, to create a soft and supple meatball.”


  • 1 769 ml can of whole plum tomatoes 
  • ½ white onion (thinly sliced)
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of basil 
  • 1 kg mixed ground beef, pork and veal
  • 4 slices Wonder Bread (or any white bread)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grated parmesan 
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, microplaned or finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley 
  • 1½ tsp salt (Diamond Kosher is best) 
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp of dried chili flakes


  1. Heat a medium saucepan on low. Add olive oil and simmer sliced onion and garlic in oil for 25 minutes or right before the onions start to turn brown. Add whole plum tomatoes and bring to a boil. Drop down to a simmer and add basil and salt. Cook on medium-low for an hour, stirring frequently to break up the tomatoes.
  2. While the sauce is bubbling gently, pulse bread in a food processor until the slices have broken down to a fine crumb. Soak bread crumbs in milk for 10 minutes. Once the milk is absorbed, add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand. Shape into balls. 
  3. Place balls in the oven on a sheet pan lined with parchment and roast at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway. Place balls into sauce and simmer for at least 30 minutes (preferably up to 3 hours), partially covered on medium-low.

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