Cheese Surprise Meatballs
Will come back and post photo(s) when we do it again.
·olive oil, for brushing baking dish
·1 ¾ cups torn stale italian bread
·½ cup milk
·1 large egg
·1 pound ground beef
·½ cup chopped fresh parsley
·¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
·¼ teaspoon garlic powder (more or less)
·kosher salt, to suit your own taste or dietary needs
·¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
·string cheese, cut into ¾” pieces
·ricotta cheese, for topping
·chopped basil leaves, for garnish
·1 (28 oz.) can or jar of prepared spaghetti sauce (homemade is okay, too, if you have some.)
How to Make Cheese Surprise Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Brush a 9” x 9” baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
- Pulse the bread in a food processor to make coarse crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl, add the milk and set aside to soak.
- Lightly beat the egg in a mixing bowl, then add the beef, parsley, parmesan, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes, if using; using your hands, mix lightly. Add the bread-milk mixture and stir/toss with wooden spoon until just combined.
- With damp (not wet) hands, shape the meat mixture into 8-10 meat balls. Push a ¾” length piece of string cheese into each meatball, reforming the meat mixture around the cheese.
- Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking dish and bake until browned - 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and pour off any excess grease. Pour can/jar of prepared sauce over meatballs and dollop spoonfuls of ricotta on top of each meatball. Continue cooking about 5 more minutes, or just until ricotta and sauce is heated through.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle on the chopped basil leaves. Serve with your favorite pasta, a green or yellow vegetable and hot garlic toast.
- NOTE: Meatballs can be formed a day in advance; just cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake. Allow to come to room temperature before placing in oven, otherwise, your cook time will be off.