Mix them with love
“Mine never used to come out as good as my mother’s and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong,” says Arpaia. “Turns out, I wasn’t mixing long enough.” Once you have your ground meat (two pounds), garlic (five cloves), chopped parsley (1/2 cup), cheese (1 ½ cups), one to two eggs, a small loaf of day-old Italian bread (soaked in water or milk to soften it up), and salt and cracked black pepper, it’s time to get dirty. Use your hands to mix everything together for three to five minutes. “It’s a long time but it helps everything be totally integrated together,” she says.