- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh basil, including stems
- 2 quarts crushed Jersey tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup cubed Italian bread, slightly toasted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup small dice onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 ounces sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
- 8 ounces finely ground veal
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt
- Flour, for dredging
- 2 ounces mozzarella, sliced
- 6 seeded semolina rolls, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves, torn, for garnish
For the tomato compote: Bloom the olive oil, garlic and basil in a small saucepan over low heat for 20 minutes. Heat the tomatoes, salt and sugar in a nonreactive pot. Strain the garlic-basil oil into the tomatoes and discard the garlic and basil. Whisk the sauce to emulsify. Simmer for 15 minutes.
For the meatball parm: Preheat the oven to 185 degrees F.
Combine the bread and milk in a bowl and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saute pan over medium-low heat, sweat the garlic in the olive oil until softened but not browned. Add the onion and parsley and cook until the onion is translucent. Remove from the heat to cool.
Combine the soaked bread and the cooled onion-garlic mixture in a large bowl. Add the beef, sausage, veal, egg, Parmesan and a generous sprinkling of salt and mix by hand. Divide into 6-ounce balls, then shape into burger-like patties.
Dredge the patties in flour and sear in canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; you are just browning the patties, not cooking them through. Transfer the patties to a baking dish, cover with tomato compote and sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Uncover the baking dish and spoon some more tomato compote over the cooked meatballs. Sprinkle with Parmesan, layer with sliced mozzarella and run under the broiler to brown the mozzarella.
For the sandwich: Add a meatball to each roll, garnish with Parmesan and torn basil leaves and serve.