Thursday, March 21, 2013

Italian Stuffed Meatballs

The kids have been on spring break this week which means finding activities to keep them busy, more mouths to feed and more dishes for mom to do. Unfortunately our weather has not cooperated at all and we haven't been able to even play outside. Lots of strong winds and freezing cold temps. I can only laugh at myself as I'm freezing outside trying to get decent pictures of my food, I'm sure the neighbors get a kick out of me!

Since we didn't have our usual dance class on Monday evening I had much more time to devote to making dinner. One of my readers and a girl I went to high school with, actually emailed me this recipe a few weeks back. Kelly said that her family enjoyed these amazing stuffed meatballs one night for dinner and she thought I might like to share it with you. I've been anxious ever since to make these and so glad we got to finally try them!

We don't eat meatballs real often in our family, but every now and then they sound good. You can seriously make a meal out of three of these, of course you also need a good size chunk of fresh Italian bread for dunking. I didn't change too much of the original recipe, however I did use my freezer spaghetti sauce to simmer them in. The girls enjoyed some plain noodles to eat alongside their portions and I had enough extra meatballs to freeze for at least one more meal. I love when that happens!

Italian Stuffed Meatballs

1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c panko crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
3-4 sticks string cheese
1 jar Ragu traditional spaghetti sauce
Freezer spaghetti sauce (I used 1 qt. sized container)
*Original recipe calls for 1 jar marinara sauce and 1 jar Prego spicy sausage spaghetti sauce
Olive oil for frying

Combine all ingredients except string cheese and sauce into a large bowl. Mix well with either hands or wooden spoon to combine thoroughly. Cut each string cheese into 8 pieces. Shape meatball into small cup in your hand, press thumb in middle, insert cheese and wrap meat around it.  Shape into meatballs. Some of mine were smaller than others but I ended up with 30.

In a large skillet add both sauces and stir to combine. Let simmer while you brown the meatballs.

In another large skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil, fry each meatball until all sides are browned. Once meatballs are browned, place them in a simmering pot of sauce for 10 mins. Serve alone or with pasta.

Makes 24-30 meatballs

*If freezing, once you've shaped meatballs place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flash freeze for 1 hour or until solid and then transfer to a large freezer bag. Thaw when ready to use.

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