Meatball Patty Melts

Meatball Patty Melts
  • 4Servings


For the warm Balsamic Marinara Ketchup:

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • A few leaves fresh basil, torn

For the Burgers:

  • 2 slices white bread, crusts trimmed and bread crumbled
  • Milk, for soaking bread
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef and pork combined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion or 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 8 slices good-quality Italian-American bread with sesame-seed crust, sliced 3/4-inch thick
  • Melted garlic butter, for brushing
  • 8 slices deli-cut mozzarella
  • 8 slices deli-cut provolone


Make the warm ketchup: In a small pot, combine the tomato paste, stock and garlic over low heat; stir to warm and loosen the tomato paste. Add the tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oregano and red pepper and bring the sauce to a bubble over medium heat, stirring often. Add the basil and reduce the heat to low; simmer to thicken, 20 minutes.

Make the burgers: Soak the crumbled bread in milk to soften. Place the ground meats in a bowl. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread, add the bread to the meat, and season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley, garlic, onion (or granulated onion) and grated cheese; mix to combine.

Form 4 large patties, making them thinner at the center for even cooking. Preheat a grill or griddle over medium-high heat; drizzle with olive oil and cook the patties, turning once, 8 to 9 minutes for medium-rare.

Brush 1 side of each bread slice with garlic butter. Build four sandwiches, buttered sides facing out, layering half the bread with warm ketchup, the mozzarella, patty, provolone, more warm ketchup and the remaining bread. Grill or griddle over medium heat, turning once, until the bread is deeply golden and the cheese is melted. Pass any extra ketchup at the table.