This recipe is more in the assembling than in the cooking—not only is it impressive, it is YUM!! You can easily scale the recipe up for, say, a Rocky III viewing party.

Welcome to this homey Italianish masterpiece. It’s more in the assemblage than in the cookery this time around, so have a glass of wine and throw together this meatballer of a meal that will have your friends and family oohing and aahing in no time.


  • 1 bag frozen meatballs (from the store or from my recipe)
  • One 28oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 T Italian herbs OR 2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp each: basil, rosemary; ½ tsp each: tarragon, fennel seed
  • One loaf Italian bread
  • Four cloves garlic
  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ C chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pkg provolone cheese slices (about 10 slices)
  • ½ C parmesan cheese

So I like to use my homemade meatballs for this; I think they taste substantially better. Make meatballs from my recipe (here) or use frozen ones from the store! If you’re in camp #frozenballs I will not throw shade. I froze my homemade ones IN the sauce, so I can’t show you how I made it, but I can tell you.

Defrost meatballs in your microwave or according to package instructions, then dump them in a saucepan.

Cover your balls with tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer until everything is steaming and the balls are hot in the center. Once the meatballs start to simmer, throw the herb mix into the sauce and give it a stir. Let it continue to simmer so those herbs get all up in the sauce.

While the sauce simmers, cut your bread. Instead of cutting it straight in half, you’ll want to angle your knife down into the bread so you’re essentially cutting out a wedge of bread connected to the top. That will hollow out your loaf instead of giving you a flat surface to mar with too many fillings. It makes putting this meal together much easier.

Once you’ve take off the bread top, cut away the “core” of bread center. Don’t worry, we are not “wasting the BEST PART”, we are making sure you get ALL that goodness. Put all your bread on a pan and turn on the broiler in your oven.

Mince the garlic (or throw it through a press, we’re not picky) and add it to a small, microwave-safe bowl with the butter. Microwave it for 30 seconds or so, until it’s melted, then stir in the parsley. Paint your bread and bread pieces with the butter sauce. I put mine on the middle rack so it doesn’t get black before the bottom gets crispy. It doesn’t take long, only a minute or two. Once it’s starting to turn golden, take it out.

Throw the cheese slices on the bread bottom, scatter parmesan on top, and return to the oven for a minute or so.

When the cheese has melted, take the bread out. Spoon the meatballs and sauce into the bread bottom; top with bread lid.

Cut into pieces and serve! I like to serve the bread middle part with extra marinara for dipping. I told you I wasn’t going to waste the best part.

Enjoy your dinner and the fawning compliments of your dinner companions, you semi-Italian stallion! You DESERVE this.

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