Do you ever come up with and idea and think it would be good, but then turns out to be awesome? Well this is one for me. My never ending fascination of putting food inside of food lead me down this path, but let me tell you, it's the most moist, flavor full meatball I've ever eaten. Even the sauce is off the hook, and it was only an after thought. This is a little time consuming, but well worth the time. The ground beef takes on the Italian sausage flavor a little, then inside is the surprise!!!
1When I started this project I didn't know how many of anything I was going to make, so I first took the Sweet Italian Sausage out of the casing, and used my small scoop to make meatballs.
2I wanted to cook them some and keep them moist, and since I used pork, I also wanted to allow some of the fat to cook out, so I simmered them in about 1" of water for about 15 min. Then I drained them and let them cool completely.
3The package of ground beef I bought came in 2.25 lb. packages, that's where that odd number came from. I place the beef in a large bowl, added all my ingredients, mixed it up, and then used an ice cream scoop to portion out my beef. I pressed one small meatball into the scoop of ground beef and rolled it up nice and neat.
4My 5 sausage links made 28 meatballs, but my beef only made 20, so I have 8 nice little meatballs I'm going to cut up and use on pizza next week. I would imagine 2.5 lbs of beef would probably make 28 meatballs, or use only 4 links of sausage instead of 5 for 2.25 lbs of beef. Whatever works!!!
5Then I baked the double meatball in a 350° oven for 25 min. to just partially cook it, then added it into my sauce and simmered another 20 min.
6SAUCE: Add olive oil to pot, add onions and garlic and cook down about 10 min. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, pepper, lemon juice and sugar. Simmer for 20 min. then add meatballs and simmer another 20 min. Be sure to stir gently so you don't break apart meatballs. Serve with your favorite pasta.