Kenmore Greatest Generation of Grilling Cook-Off entry by Margaret Casey, Ohio State Fair

My meatball recipe comes from my Italian grandmother, Carmine Benedetto Tornero. She came to the U.S. as a child in the 1920’s with her mother and sister. As an immigrant, she never lost her love for Italy, and her pride in their great food. She loved to make spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and peppers, pizza, lasagna, and anything else Italian. I can’t remember a visit to her home that there wasn’t a pot of spaghetti sauce with her special meatballs ready and waiting. She believed the best Italian food included pork. Learning to cook during the Depression, her mother used pork neck bones. By the time I came along, my grandmother added sausage and continued to use the pork neck bones. She was a great cook, and I am grateful to have her recipes. I am very proud of my Italian heritage and love Italian cooking. I call my creation, "Italian on the Grill".

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preparation Time
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cook Time
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1483 per serving


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1 pounds italian sausage links, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • basil and oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste



Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined


Form meat into 1 inch balls and place in a 9x13 inch pan. Place in a refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to blend together.


Heat grill to high heat.


Meanwhile, skewer the meatballs and sausage alternately on a metal skewer.


Lower grill heat to medium/low heat and spray with non-stick spray.


Place skewers on the grill and close the lid to allow meat to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Check on meat to make sure it doesn't burn. Turn skewers so that they cook on all sides.


When meatballs are about 5 minutes from being done, toss on a few pieces of garlic bread as a side.


Remove from grill and serve with a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad, garlic bread, and quick sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Aunt Nina's Marinara Sauce

1. Remove tomatoes from can, reserving sauce. 2. Slice the tomatoes into bite size pieces. 3. Stir all ingredients together over low heat in a saucepan until hot. 4. Remove and serve.

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