What You'll Need
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese, plus extra for topping
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
For the meatballs:
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl; set aside while you chop the produce. Add all meatball ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well. Using a cookie scoop (or your hands), form into small balls, a little smaller than a golf ball.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches, turning several times. Once browned but still soft, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
For the vodka sauce
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add tomato paste and whisk to combine. Meanwhile, cook pasta for 4-6 minutes, or until Al Dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water (Pro tip: when you start cooking the pasta, place your colander in the sink with a 1-cup measuring cup in it - ensuring you don’t forget to reserve the water!)
- Whisk in the heavy cream, stirring frequently to combine, about 5 minutes.
- Add vodka and continue to whisk for another 7-10 minutes, until alcohol is cooked out.
- Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and whisk to thicken the sauce; continue to add the pasta water to desired consistency, whisking continually.
Toss the pasta and the meatballs with the sauce until everything is well-coated; top with freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese. Serve immediately!