Friday, April 29, 2011

Food For Friday: Homemade Meatballs

We combined elements from several different recipes to create our favorite meatball recipe.  We love to eat meatballs with fresh pasta and we also really like to make meatball sandwiches with fresh baguette bread.  My next Food for Friday post will be a bread dough recipe we have become big fans of and use to make meatball sandwiches.  Please, please use fresh mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan (that you grate yourself or purchase already grated in a bag in the shredded cheese section).  Do not use that powdery white stuff that they sell as parmesan cheese!  The fresh cheese makes such a huge difference and takes the meatballs to a much fresher, tastier level!
1.5 lbs lean ground beef (we use 94% lean organic)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 cut Italian breadcrumbs (we use fresh ones that I make in the food processor with some Italian seasoning)
4 cloves minced or pressed garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
1 heaping tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground pepper (a few turns of the grinder)
olive oil
1 jar of roasted garlic pasta sauce (I use Classico)
fresh mozzarella cheese (I usually use the "log" of fresh mozzarella from Costco that comes in a 2 pack)
pasta (we like fresh linguine)

Put all of the ingredients from the lean ground beef down to the fresh ground pepper into a metal or glass bowl and mix well.  Form into 1.5 inch balls.  (We use a metal cookie dough scoop sometimes to speed up the process and make them more uniform.)  Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.  Add the meatballs and turn them several times to brown the exterior of the meatballs.  (Don't worry about cooking them through at this point.  You are just browning the outside to add a "crust.")  Pour in the jar of pasta sauce, cover with a lid & simmer on medium to medium low until the meatballs are cooked through, usually 30 to 45 minutes.
Slice the mozzarella cheese and lay over the top of the meatballs and sauce.  Cover for a minute or two until the cheese is good and melted.  Serve over pasta.  Our favorite is to serve it over fresh linguine.  If you don't want to make fresh pasta at home, Buitoni fresh pasta in the refrigerated aisle is a great option.  If you happen to have fresh basil growing in an herb garden this summer, some thin ribbons of basil sprinkled on top is a delicious addition too!

1 comment:

Kelly Jo said...

Ok – I have to leave another comment – I saw the title including the word “Meatballs” and I was sucked in. Amen to not using the powdery white stuff! There is no way that can really be cheese. And I love that you make your own bread crumbs (I do, too). Based on those two points I am going to have to try these meatballs because I am sure they are delicious. The pictures look fantastic!