Great Balls of Fire (spicy meatball marinara sub)

"Great Balls of Fire" - aka Spicy Meatball Marinara Sub

(makes 2 sandwiches)

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Mezzetta Hot Cherry Peppers, diced, including the seeds
  • 3 Mezzetta Sweet Cherry Peppers, diced, including the seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Mezzetta Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups Napa Valley Bistro - Fire-Roasted Marinara
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Mezzetta Roasted Marinated Yellow and Red Sweet Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 tomato hoagie rolls with Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil


In a large bowl, combine ground pork, beaten egg, bread crumbs, garlic, Mezzetta hot cherry peppers, Mezzetta sweet cherry peppers, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Shape into 6 meatballs.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons Mezzetta extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the meatballs in the olive oil for 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes to brown evenly on all sides.

Meanwhile, pour the Napa Valley Bistro - fire-roasted marinara into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low.  After the meatballs have browned in the skillet for 10 minutes, transfer the meatballs to the saucepan.  Cover and simmer in the marinara sauce over low heat for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are simmering in the marinara, add 1 more tablespoon Mezzetta extra virgin olive oil to the skillet you used to cook the meatballs.  Add the onion and mushrooms and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook over medium heat for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms and onions are browned and slightly caramelized.  Add the Mezzetta Roasted Marinated Yellow and Red Sweet Peppers to the skillet and cook onions, mushrooms and peppers for an additional 2 minutes.

Preheat the broiler to low.  Split the hoagie rolls down the middle and scoop a few tablespoons of bread out of each to create a hollow center.  Discard excess bread.  Place the rolls on a baking sheet.

Place 3 meatballs inside each roll and spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce over the meatballs.  Pour the remaining marinara into small ramekins or dipping bowls to serve on the side.

Distribute the onions, mushrooms and roasted peppers on top of the meatballs.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.

Top each sandwich with the chopped basil and serve with the remaining marinara sauce.