Italian Meatballs with Bruschetta

Italian cold cuts and cheese spice up meatballs. Bruschetta dip adds a refreshing and colorful topping. To serve as a meal, add: garlic bread and a salad.


  • 2 slices stale good-quality white bread, crusts trimmed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 pound mixed Italian cold cuts (prosciutto, prosciutto cotto, salami mortadella, coppa, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 egg

For the bruschetta topping:

  • 5 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 12 basil leaves, very thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling


Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. In a bowl, soak the bread in the milk to soften.

Place a rack on a large baking sheet. Using a food processor, finely chop the cold cuts.

Drizzle the EVOO into a large bowl. Add the beef and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the bread and crumble it into the beef. Mix in the cold cuts, cheese, parsley, garlic and egg. Roll the meat into 1 1/2-2-inch balls. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and roast until browned, about 15 minutes.

Place the tomatoes in a medium size bowl; season with salt. Stir in the onion, garlic, parsley and basil. Drizzle with EVOO. Let stand to combine the flavors. Serve the bruschetta topping with the meatballs.

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