Meatball & Pepperoni Pizza Bombers

We're in the home stretch for the weekend! To round out the week of sandwich recipes, here's one that was particularly good...Meatball & Pepperoni Pizza Bombers. This was yet another suggestion of The Baron's {he's great with sandwich ideas lol} and it was one I couldn't stop talking about throughout and after dinner... it was that good. Large slices of pepperoni are topped with homemade meatballs, a zesty pizza sauce and provolone cheese all stuffed in a toasted french roll. Subway couldn't eat fresher than this!...

The Baron brought up the idea of meatball and pepperoni sandwiches after seeing a commercial for Subway. With that sandwich on the brain, I figured it would be easy to make at home and add a little spin. For this sandwich, I used a great meatball recipe {below} and pizza sauce for some zing. If you can find it at your local grocery deli, get some slices of large pepperoni... but regular pizza sized pepperoni works just as well too. Just pile it in as much as you want! You can go with either provolone or mozzarella cheese but I prefer provolone. Lastly stuff all this delicious goodness into a toasted roll. Turano's was what was used for The Baron's sandwich while I used a GF hot dog bun from Udi's.

Meatball & Pepperoni Pizza Bombers
recipe adapted from Jeff Mauro

5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
3 pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal (if you don't like veal, just use more beef)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for frying

Sandwich Build:
8 slices provolone
8 slices pepperoni {from the deli}
4 ciabatta buns, split or GF hot dog buns {like Udi's}

1 jar your favorite pizza sauce, warmed

For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to broil.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Romano, parsley, garlic, and some salt and pepper until it is all incorporated.

Add in the ground meats and breadcrumbs and, using your God-given hands, get after it and mix away. Do not overwork the meat or it will turn "meat-loafy." You want it loose and supple.

Using your hands again, make 4 loose patties to match the size of your bread. (The mixture will form at least 10 patties, depending on how big your buns are. But I like to make some patties for sandwiches and then roll the rest to make meatballs, which I then freeze so I have meatballs at the ready.)

Heat some oil in a large, heavy-bottomed cast-iron pan (or use a griddle pan) over medium heat. In batches, fry the patties until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

For the sandwich build: Place 1 slice of cheese on one side of the buns and broil in the oven until the cheese is brown and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Top with 2 slices of pepperoni (or as much as you want if you're using regular pizza pepperoni). Add the meatballs, spoon over some pizza sauce, and top with more slices of cheese. Serve with more sauce on the side, if desired.