Submarine is the correct name for this, but in Philadelphia it’s called a hoagie, in New England a grinder and in New York a hero. The name was coined in the 1930s when it was claimed that only a true hero could eat such an enormous sandwich. The meatballs and the sauce also make a mean sauce for spaghetti.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (14 votes)


  • 6 Hoagies or long rolls
  • a few handfuls of rocket
  • 3 balls of mozzarella


Tomato sauce

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • oil, for frying
  • 400 g (14 oz) can of whole tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying



  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200 g (7 oz) minced beef
  • 200 g (7 oz) minced pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 40 g (1½ oz/½ cup) grated parmesan 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • a bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 100ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) whole milk
  • 50g (1¾ oz/1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt and black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the tomato sauce, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, oregano, chilli flakes and sugar. Mash up a little with a wooden spoon. Add the bay leaf, turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently while you get cracking on the meatballs. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

For the meatballs, fry the onion and garlic until soft in a bit of oil. Place the mince in a bowl, crack in the egg, add the onion, Parmesan, fennel seeds, finely chopped parsley (and any other herbs you might have at home), milk and breadcrumbs and mash everything together with your hands. Add salt and pepper.

Roll into meatballs about golf-ball size and fry them in oil in a cast-iron pan until seared. Fry off a small one that you’ve flattened out and taste. Nice? If not, add more salt and pepper. Then add the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce and leave to simmer for at least 1 hour. This way the meatballs will flavour the sauce and vice versa.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Halve the bread and fry the insides crispy in a pan with a little butter. Add a layer of rocket on the bottom half and then a couple of meatballs without too much sauce on them. Top with mozzarella and whack in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. Pour over some sauce, put the lid on and squeeze. Voilà! 


Recipe and image from The Ultimate Sandwich by Jonas Cramby (Pavilion Books, $34.99, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.