Italian Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup day-old bread, cubed (crusts removed)
1/3 lb. ground veal
1/3 lb. ground pork
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/3 cup Parmesan or Pecorino, grated (more for garnish)
3 tbsps parsley, chopped (more for garnish)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tsps fresh oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil for frying

tomato sauce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. crushed tomatoes (if you want to avoid BPAs, try POMI)
3 tbsps tomato paste
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
kosher salt to taste
black pepper, freshly ground to taste

Make the meatballs: In a small bowl, soak the bread cubes in the milk for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, combine the soggy cubes, the veal, pork, beef, egg, Parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Mix it together gently and begin forming meatballs about 2-inches in diameter. Try to avoid overmixing the meat or pressing the meatballs too tightly because this will make them tough (and we want tender). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the meatballs in the pan while giving them enough personal space to develop a lovely deep brown exterior. You will likely have to fry them in two batches and you will most certainly have to turn them to brown on all sides. This should take about 8-10 minutes total (then you plunk them in the tomato sauce for more cooking).

Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Add the garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and place the meatballs in the pan with the sauce. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes. Serve the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.