My father is 100% Italian-American. As a child we ate a LOT of spaghetti and meatballs. My parents never ever used jarred tomato sauce or frozen meatballs. I think our meatballs are pretty unique and my grandmother says she always had trouble keeping the kids out of them before she put them in the sauce. They are so good plain that we usually ate them plain or topped with sauce afterward. My parents sometimes soaked them in sauce if we were having a party, but there's nothing like a fresh plain meatball out of the bowl (they have to cool a second) sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese. I can remember sneaking them out of the bowl as a child too. I've tried baking these as well but they don't get nice and crispy that way. But if you are looking to be a tad healthier, I guess there are worse things than a baked meat ball. These are not the fall apart "dog food" meatballs you get in one of those dives. These meatballs are dense and flavorful. Best eaten fresh or at least the first day. This is not a diet/healthy recipe. So do what I did. Put on a pot of sauce and invite a few friends for spaghetti and meatball night, with a long walk afterward. There's nothing wrong with indulging a little here, especially if you are eating less of the forbidden food because you are having guests.
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (my mother used to use her own home ground chuck)
1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
cover top with parsley
sprinkle with pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder