Use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, if desired. You could thin plain yogurt with a little milk to get the same effect as buttermilk. Try this tasty option: Stir ⅓ cup raisins and ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (toast nuts in a dry skillet over low heat for about 8 minutes or until golden brown) into ground meat mixture until well distributed. I used the inside of a baguette for the bread paste with excellent results. You can use less or more oil for frying.
Two slices white bread, crusts removed, torn in pieces (about 1½ cups)
½ cup buttermilk or milk
1 lb/500g ground beef
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
¾ tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ medium onion, chopped
Homemade or storebought tomato sauce
In bowl, pour buttermilk over bread; let sit a few minutes. With fork, stir into a thick paste.
Add bread paste to large bowl along with remaining ingredients except oil, onion and tomato sauce. Stir well to combine. Shape into balls about 1½ inches in diameter. Place on cookie sheet or cutting board. You should have about 15 meatballs.
Add oil to large heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until edge of a meatball sizzles when placed in it. Add meatballs in single layer, not crowding skillet. Cook, turning at intervals, until well browned all over, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Add onion to skillet. Cook over medium heat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook until heated through. Add meatballs. Cook a few minutes or until heated through. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.