Minnesota Delights: Cossetta’s Tiny Meatballs

Cossetta’s Tiny Meatballs


Adapted recipe from Cossetta’s

2 heals of fresh bread
6 T. milk
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground sweet Italian pork sausage
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 T. finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 T. dried oregano
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 T. dried sage
1 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
dried breadcrumbs (for work surface)
olive oil (for frying)

Pulse bread heals in food processor to make fresh bread crumbs. Place bread crumbs in a small bowl with the milk and let stand until absorbed. Puree onion and garlic in food processor.

Place ground meats in a large bowl and add onion/garlic puree, soaked breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients (except for dried breadcrumbs). Mix with hands until just combined.

Sprinkle work surface with dried bread crumbs. Roll meatball mixture into 12 inch long thin strips (sort of like making Play-Doh snakes). Line strips up on work surface and cut into 1 inch lengths. Roll these 1 inch lengths into meatballs. You can skip the snake making step if you wish; it just helps keep the size consistently small which is important for this recipe.

Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Working in batches, cook meatballs until browned and cooked through over medium-high heat (approx 1-2 minutes). Transfer cooked meatballs to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.

Using two pounds of meat, this recipe makes enough tiny meatballs to feed a tiny country. Package cooked meatballs in zipper top plastic freezer bags and store frozen for up to 6 months.

6 thoughts on “Minnesota Delights: Cossetta’s Tiny Meatballs

  1. I was shocked at how close this is to Cossetta’s meatballs! I followed it almost exactly except for fresh oregano and sage. I was doubtful it would taste anything like Cossetta’s, but it does–guess that shows how inaccurate my taste buds are! We moved out of state 2 years ago and Cossetta’s is one of the things we truly miss. Thanks so much for posting this recipe.

  2. I regret to inform that during a visit today, none of the staff knew anything about these tiny meatballs. I have been buying these in South Des Moines at a place called Graziano’s for years, and was hoping for a local source. So I did buy the meatball mix from Cossetta. Thanks for the pro tip on the snake method!!

  3. This recipe was published in local magazine 10 or more years ago. You can buy their regular size meatballs in the freezer section there or out of the deli counter. Tiny meatballs were made for the magazine feature.

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