To give them a light crust, which makes them easier to pick up, meatballs can be rolled in a breadcrumb-and-flour mixture before frying.
- 2 slices white or other soft bread, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 pound ground beef chuck
- 1 pound ground pork
- 6 thin slices pancetta (2 1/2 ounces), finely diced
- 1/2 small onion, minced (1/3 cup)
- 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon mild smoked paprika (also called pimenton)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
Soften bread thoroughly in milk in a large bowl. Add beef, pork, pancetta, and onion; mix with your hands. Mix in egg yolks, 2 teaspoons salt, some pepper, the paprika, and thyme.
Form into 1- to 1 1/4-inch balls. Chill in a single layer 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly coat a large skillet with oil, and fry meatballs in a single layer (do not crowd) over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
Transfer to a baking pan, and bake until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.