I mix the meatball ingredients and roll them the night before. Early Friday morning I fill the crockpot with tomato sauce, wine, paste, salt and pepper and saute my soffrito, onions, garlic, carrots and celery and then add that also to the pot. I toss in the prepared meatballs without cooking them first. I know this is really odd to many people, but traditionally in Italy a good sauce is created by incorporating a large piece of uncooked beef in the sauce and allowed to cook all day. It really makes a wonderful sauce. I put my crockpot setting on low and cook it usually till 4:30 pm. At that time I add my bay leaves, fresh basil, & oregano. If need be I add more wine, salt and pepper and continue to let it cook till around 6:00 pm.
The cooking process as well as your ingredients make for a super tasty and tender meatball. The meat; I use three different meats, ground sirloin, ground pork and ground veal. Eggs. Bread crumbs; I like to use fresh french bread that I season and dry out in the oven then grate to a medium consistency. Fresh herbs, finely minced onion, the best grated parmesan you can find.. VERY IMPORTANT! Of course red wine, salt and pepper to taste.
Early Friday evening have your rolls and provolone ready. Slice cooked meatballs and put them on the rolls, ladle some sauce on top and sprinkle with a healthy portion of grated cheese, bake in a preheated 450˚ oven till bread is golden and cheese is melted. Enjoy with a salad.