Italian Meatball Sandwiches with Red Leaf Lettuce & Cucumber Salad

Italian Meatball Sandwiches

with Red Leaf Lettuce & Cucumber Salad

50 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s dish is an Italian-American classic: meatball subs. A simple, garlicky tomato sauce takes on a subtle richness when cooked in the same pan as the meatballs. We’re layering the sauce and meatballs along with provolone into soft rolls—then finishing the sandwiches in the oven, toasting the rolls and melting the cheese. On the side, a crisp salad of red leaf lettuce and cucumber provides refreshing contrast.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    790 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Slice the rolls lengthwise, keeping them intact (they should look like hot dog buns). Cut the provolone cheese slices in half. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds.

Form the meatballs:
2 Form the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, egg, half the garlic, and half the parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Brown the meatballs:
3 Brown the meatballs:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned.

Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:
4 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:

Add the remaining garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and ¼ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits (or fond) from the bottom of the pan, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble & toast the sandwiches:
5 Assemble & toast the sandwiches:

Place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut side up. Divide the finished meatballs and sauce among the rolls. Evenly top with the provolone cheese. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges of the rolls are browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the sandwiches toast, to make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the vinegar and remaining parmesan cheese. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and cucumber; season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing; toss to thoroughly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the toasted sandwiches and salad among 4 dishes. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Slice the rolls lengthwise, keeping them intact (they should look like hot dog buns). Cut the provolone cheese slices in half. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact; thinly slice into rounds.

2 Form the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, egg, half the garlic, and half the parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 16 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate.

Form the meatballs:
Brown the meatballs:
3 Brown the meatballs:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned.

4 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:

Add the remaining garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and ¼ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits (or fond) from the bottom of the pan, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:
Assemble & toast the sandwiches:
5 Assemble & toast the sandwiches:

Place the rolls on a sheet pan, cut side up. Divide the finished meatballs and sauce among the rolls. Evenly top with the provolone cheese. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges of the rolls are browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the sandwiches toast, to make the dressing, in a bowl, combine the vinegar and remaining parmesan cheese. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and cucumber; season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing; toss to thoroughly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the toasted sandwiches and salad among 4 dishes. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish:
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