Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions

Meatball sub

I've had these subs bookmarked for a while now. Every time I try to run them by Joel, he makes a face and says something about how he isn't really a fan of meatball subs. However, a few weeks ago, I made meatballs to go with the spaghetti that we had for dinner, and he really enjoyed them. So this week, while I was planning our menu, I opened about 10 recipes, including this one, and had Joel pare them down. As soon as he saw these, he said "I definitely want the Smitten Kitchen subs!" For some reason, if he sees that the recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, he's all over it. I can't say I blame him. Everything Deb makes looks awesome, and anything I've ever tried from her blog is delicious! I can't wait until October when her cookbook comes out! Anyway, about these subs…the meatballs are the best I've ever had! They are soft, but incredibly flavorful. They were delicious in a sub, but would have been perfect on top of a pile of spaghetti, too!

For the Meatballs:
4 Sub Rolls
2 pounds Ground Meat (I used meatloaf mix)
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
3/4 teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
Olive Oil
4 cups Prepared Marinara Sauce (I used a jar)

Split the rolls and scoop out some of the insides to create a channel for the meatballs to rest in. Grind the bread you pulled out from the roll in the food processor to get about 1 1/3 cups of fresh breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl with  3/4 cups of warm water and all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and sauce (and sub rolls). Combine with a fork (or your hands), until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs and arrange on a tray. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan with a lid. Brown the meatballs in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Be gentle, as these meatballs are soft. Transfer the meatballs to a paper-towel lined tray and continue with the remaining meatballs until they are all browned. Discard the oil and heat the marinara sauce in the sauté pan. Add the meatballs, cover, and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. 

For the Onions:
2 Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and  sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cook until they are tender, sweet, and a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

For the Sub Assembly:
Arrange meatballs with sauce inside the hollowed-out roll(s). Drape the caramelized onions over the top and sprinkle with shredded cheese (I used Gruyere). Place subs under a broiler to melt the cheese.