Meatball Monday: Secret to better meatballs

Use fresh bread crumbs instead of dry to make better-tasting meatballs. They do a better job lightening the meat mixture and keeping the meatballs moist while they cook.

When a meatball recipe calls for dry bread crumbs, substitute fresh for better results. Fresh bread crumbs can't be purchased, but they're easy to make:

Cut the bread into small cubes and pulse it in a food processor until it's mostly finely ground but retains some texture.

Or make bread crumbs by hand: Place a slice of bread on a surface and use a fork to pull crumbs from the slice. You can trim off the crusts or leave them on. Just be sure to use a light touch when measuring rather than packing them down.

Store fresh bread crumbs in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 4 months.