The best meatball sandwich

I believe this is potentially the best sandwich in the world.

(Read more about why on The Huffington Post here)

The inspiration for it comes from Sonoma, in Sydney.

It holds meatballs – plump like a cherub’s cheek. They’re a mix of ground pork and veal, fluffed with ricotta and cheerfully studded with pine nuts and toasted fennel seeds. These are married with a chunky tomato sauce. Bedding down with them both is a blanket of provolone and the peppery kick of rocket.

But what this sandwich really needs is some proper bread to hold it all together.

If you’re in Sydney, that’s easy. Get hold of some of Sonoma’s miche. Or better yet, get along to one of their cafe’s and have the real thing- they also conveniently make some of the best coffees in Sydney.

But if you’re on the other side of the world and just craving a stellar sandwich- (or some great meatballs) then this isn’t a bad way to go. Just make sure you get hold of the best sourdough bread you can find and don’t be shy about the cheese.

But to really get the full experience you need to make your way to Sydney, be served with a friendly smile and plot a day that includes a walk near a big body of water

(and potentially have one of their brownies for dessert).

Meatball Sourdough Sandwich

 Makes 4 sandwiches

1 roasting tin, 1 mixing bowl, 1 fry pan, 1 sandwich toaster

Shopping/ foraging


2/3 pound (300 g) ground pork
2/3 pound (300 grams) ground veal
2/3  cup ricotta cheese, drained
3 tablespoons tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon dried oregano,
1  teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

Tomato Sauce
Two 14 ounce/ 400 gram tins of peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of ground oregano

Rest of sandwich
8 slices of Provolone cheese (2 per sandwich)
2 large handfuls of arugula/ rocket
8 slices of the best sourdough you can get your hands on.

Here’s how we roll

1.    Preheat the oven to 400°/ 200c. Toast the pine nuts and the fennel seeds in a dry fry pan until brown and nutty.

2. Mix the pork, veal,  ricotta, , oregano, fennel seeds, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Shape into meatballs, using about 1-2  teaspoons of the mixture for each. Transfer the meatballs to an oiled roasting pan (you may need two- I had to- below contains just half the mixture).

3. Roast the meatballs in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or brown and firm.

4. Make the tomato sauce. Gently sauté the crushed garlic in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar, salt and oregano. Cook in a pan on a high heat for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

5. Add the warm tomato sauce to the meatballs.

6. Assemble the sandwiches. Layer the cheese against the bottom slice of bread, then add meatballs, sauce, rocket/arugula and the top slice of bread. Toast in a sandwich toaster until the bread is crisp and the cheese is oozing.

For other ‘best of’ in the world, consider;

Is the best hot dog in the world in Iceland?

Is this the best high tea in London?

Are these the best pancakes in Amsterdam?

For more ‘best of’  both at home and away you can subscribe to Eatori and have it delivered to your inbox, or like us on Facebook, here.

  1. Food porn close to my heart, and at its simplest! Looks amazing. Will be a few years before I visit SYD again, but this will feature!

  2. Oooh that looks so delicious. I've never even had a meatball sandwich… let alone make one! This is going on my to-make list.

  3. Holy cow… that looks awesome. Being a big fan of great meatballs, and an even BIGGER fan of sourdough (our local bakery sells an amazing miche), I'll definitely be making this soon. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration! ~Jill

  4. Great post on The Huffington Post! And this does look like a serious contender for the best sandwich ever…beautiful thick sourdough and homemade meatballs? Yum!

  5. This looks delicious. I like the idea of tasted bread and meat balls, never had this, but think I should.

  6. I believe you may be right about it being the best sandwich in the world. Going to get myself to Sonoma this weekend because of this! Thanks for your comment. I love your blog 🙂

  7. Damn! I now have a really strong craving for a meatball sandwich! That will teach me to have a salad for lunch 😛

  8. It's off to Sonoma for me!

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