- 2 pounds bulk Italian hot sausage
- 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup softened sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- One can Italian crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- Salt and pepper
- Four crusty sub rolls, ciabatta bread or individual ciabatta rolls, 7-8 inches long per person
- A handful of basil leaves, torn or shredded
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for topping
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
Place a bowl of warm water on a work surface. Arrange a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the sausage into four equal portions. Form three balls from each portion, nestling one mozzarella cube into the center of each meatball and sealing the meat around it. Coat the meatballs with a drizzle of EVOO, place on the rack on the baking sheet and roast until firm, about 18 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and olives. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the oven, turn off the heat, then place the rolls in the oven and bake until crisp, a minute or so. Split the rolls and top each with three meatballs and some sauce, basil and Pecorino Romano.