Hands-On Time
15 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins

Full of spicy, tender meatballs and melty, stringy cheese, these sandwiches are messy to eat, but totally worth it. If you want to tone down the spiciness to make them more kid-friendly, try subbing in mild Italian sausage for the spicy links. In a hurry, you can use jarred tomato sauce. Be sure to gently mix the meatballs so they hold their shape, but are not overworked (that’ll make them tough). You can form the meatballs up to a day ahead of time, and store them covered in the refrigerator. Serve the heroes with a big green salad, and toss any leftover meatballs into spaghetti the next night for dinner.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 475°F. Using your hands, gently mix sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl until just combined. Form mixture into 12 1½-inch balls and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Add meatballs to sauce and toss to coat. Move oven rack 6 inches from heat and increase heat to broil.

Step 4

Place bottom half of bread, cut side up, on baking sheet. Top with meatballs, sauce, and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven and top with basil. Cover with top half of bread and cut into 4 pieces.

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