The Greatest Meatball Sub

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Dinner, Main Course, Lunch Italian-American
By Matty Matheson Serves: 1 Sub per 2 People
Prep Time: 45 Minutes Cooking Time: 2 Hours Total Time: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes

Seriously the best meatball sub of your entire life! Today we make Matty Matheson's Greatest Meatball Sub. Rich, cheesy, messy deliciousness!


  • Meatballs
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Lamb
  • 3 slices Day Old Sliced Bread
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Dried Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Black Pepper
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 3 large Garlic Cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 28-30 oz. Tomato Puree
  • 3 cups Water
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Relish
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Anchovy Fillets
  • 2 tbsp. Capers
  • 1/2 cup Pitted Green Olives
  • 1/2 cup Pickled Jalapeños
  • 1-2 Roasted Red Peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley, including stems roughly chopped
  • Dash of Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • Meatball Subs
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, grated
  • Footlong Sub Roll (one footlong serves 2 people, scale up with more rolls as needed)
  • About 1 cup Grated Mozzarella
  • Grated Parmigiano Regiano




Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.


Tear up three slices of day old bread and toss the pieces in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of milk. Squish the bread down into the milk and let it soak up the milk while we prep the rest of the ingredients.


In a large bowl, combine the three pounds of ground meat.


Add everything but the soaking breadcrumbs to the bowl with the ground meat. Then grate the garlic cloves directly into the bowl. Add about 7-10 cranks of fresh cracked black pepper to the mix. Use your hands to mix and incorporate everything really well.


Once the meat mix is well-mixed, add the wet bread mixture and about 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley to bowl and mix again with your hands.


Line a large sheet tray with parchment and use a large ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs.


Get 12 meatballs on your sheet tray. Then spray your hands with cooking spray and form the meatballs into tight balls.


Pop these 12 meatballs in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Tomato Sauce


In a Dutch oven or large pot, pour enough olive oil in the pot to completely cover the bottom to the pot.


Over medium heat, get the oil warming up and add the diced onion to the pot. Let the onions cook while stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent.


Then add the thinly sliced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the crushed red pepper flakes and the fresh basil.


Stir and let the basil cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato paste. Stir and cook the tomato paste for about 2 minutes, until the paste darkens in color.


Add the tomato puree and 3 cups of water. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.


After 30 minutes in the oven, the meatballs should be nicely browned. Add them to the tomato sauce and let the whole pot simmer over low - medium/low heat for 1.5 hours.

Olive Relish


Toss all of the relish ingredients and a drizzle of olive oil into a food processor and pulse until a chunky relish consistency is reached.


Transfer the relish to a bowl and add about 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley and fresh cracked black pepper. Stir in the parsley and pepper and add a few more drizzles of olive oil. Stir in a dash of white vinegar or lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add Kosher salt and more black pepper if desired. Set the relish aside.

Garlic Cheesy Bread


Slice the sub roll in half lengthwise (leave one side still connected). Place the sliced sub roll on a parchment lined sheet tray. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small saucepan and grate 3-4 cloves of garlic into the melted butter. Then brush both insides of the sub roll with the melted garlic butter.


Place the buttered sub roll in the still-hot oven for a few minutes, just until the edges of the roll are toasty brown.


Remove from oven and cover both sides of the sub roll with grated mozzarella cheese. Top the mozzarella with grated Parmesan. Place back in the oven for a few more minutes – just until the cheese gooey and melted, but not bubbling and browning.

Assemble the Meatball Sub


Use a spoon to transfer four meatballs to the sub roll.


Spoon on the olive relish on top of the meatballs.


Fold the top half of the sub roll over the meatballs.


With one hand, hold the top down on the meatballs and use a serrated knife to slice the sub into four pieces. Slice between each meatball.