They even included this, which was cool: * to chiffonade basil leaves, stack leaves on top of each other, then roll up leaves lengthwise like a cigar, slice thinly starting at the end.
In a large bowl, add the pork, Italian sausage, prosciutto or pancetta, bread cubes, parsley, oregano, fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Use your hands to mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Do not over-work. (I added pepper too, btw, because it was there. Oh, and I totally overworked it.)
Whisk the beaten eggs and ricotta together in a separate bowl until there are no more large clumps of ricotta. Pour into the bowl of the meat mixture. Mix with your hands until just incorporated. Again, do not over-mix. (Pork meat feels different than beef, it's got more moisture so it takes less to bind it. You may find that the egg/cheese mixture is a bit too much so like I said, add breadcrumbs. This is also the measurement I got wrong, so I may have had too much of the mixture to begin with. All I had was jumbo eggs so I had to add more cheese. Also, another way of making meatloaf without eggs is by soaking bread in milk to act as a binding agent... so by all rights, if you soak the bread in a milk/cheese mixture, you wouldn't need eggs at all. But that's too confusing. Stick to eggs for now.)
If you want, to test seasoning, you can take a small bit of the mix, form into a patty, and heat in a small skillet on the stovetop until cooked through. Depending on how this test patty tastes to you, add more herbs, chili, or salt to taste to the meat mixture. Keep meat mixture in refrigerator while doing this. (Or you can just add everything by eye, shove it in the oven and make a wish, like I do.)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat the bottom of a large roasting pan with olive oil. Form meatballs in your hand, about 1 1/2-inches in diameter, using about 3 Tbsp of the mixture to form each meatball. Arrange in pan so there is some space between them. If too crowded they will steam and not brown. (This is true, and if you have to use both the bottom and top rack, be sure to switch 30 minutes in so they boh get done evenly.)
Roast meatballs in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning the meatballs after about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are beginning to brown.
Remove pan from oven. Use a metal spatula to dislodge meatballs from being stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan. (Or the ready-made sauce) Carefully cover the pan with aluminum foil, carefully because the pan is still hot! (Well, it doesn't cook in the fridge) Return the pan to the oven. Lower the heat to 300°F. Cook for an additional hour to 1 1/2 hours. (Okay, this is the part that pissed me off. In order for you to cool the temp of the oven down, you'd have to switch it off, leave the door open and wait at least 2 hours. It was late, hot as hell in the house already and we were starving. So, after a half hour, I switched racks so the underdone ones could cook as well as the bottom ones. I gave it another half hour, took them both out and put them all in one tray. Then I put the sauce over all of them, gave it more garlic and basil, and then let it cook for an extra 10-15 minutes. During this time, I made pasta. By the time the balls were done, so was the pasta and it was just fine. I mean, it wasn't amazing, it wasn't spectacular, but it was pretty good. If I had to do it over, I'd add fresh garlic and none of the cut bread. All in all, it's worth trying at least once.)
Sprinkle basil into sauce before serving.
Makes about 24 meatballs. Top with grated Parmesan. (This is just me, but I'd put some of the parmesan into the meat mix before cooking, then more after. Hope you guys enjoy this one.)