Hoagie, grinder, submarine, or hero -- whatever you choose to call those long, usually drippy, and always delicious meals in a bun, this recipe is one you can make your own. Chickpeas are combined with ground meat, basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano to make tender meatballs, which are just as good served atop pasta, too.
1. Combine the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 cloves of the garlic, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, bay leaf, and 1/4 cup of the chickpeas in a very large skillet, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. While the sauce is cooking, place the remaining chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, basil leaves, the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until mixture clumps together like wet sand.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef and pork with your hands, then add the chickpea mixture, and form into meatballs (about 2 dozen). Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then brown the meatballs in two batches, about 7 minutes per batch. As they finish browning, move meatballs to skillet containing tomato sauce and simmer gently, about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve meatballs and sauce on toasted buttered sandwich rolls, garnished with additional cheese.
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This recipe was created with funding from Muir Glen, whose tomatoes we love. In fact, Lynne picked them as the best-tasting canned tomatoes in a blind test way back before they were an underwriter of the program. Now our relationship works like this: Muir Glen gave us the money to create more recipes that use tomatoes. We asked our friend Adeena Sussman, who appeared on the show back when she authored this cookbook, to come up with nine original recipes that include canned tomatoes as an ingredient. They're great, and we're rolling them out over the course of nine months. We'd like to thank Muir Glen for the support and for allowing us the creative freedom to produce this content independent of any editorial oversight.