Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ground Pork Pesto Meatballs

I've come to really like these meatballs; in fact I've made them a few times now, just with different types of meat. They are a great freezer meal and I included them in my first freezer meal basket for one of my friends.

Remember the pesto I made yesterday? I reserved a 1/4 cup just for these. One batch of meatballs will yield two meals for us, I'll save these for a night when the hubby has bowling league since he's not a meatball fan. Or they will be perfect for when I'm packing lunches, I can add a few to each lunch box and call it good.

Since we've got a freezer stocked with meat, I personally would rather use what we have instead of purchasing any right now (if I can help it). Meatballs don't necessarily have to be frozen uncooked. Of course, it's not good practice to thaw meat and re-freeze either. You will need to cook it, if you'll be freezing again.

That's what I did. I baked my meatballs in their disposable pans, cooled and then transferred to the freezer. You can do whatever is easiest for you. If you're freezing uncooked meat, I recommend just putting the meatballs into a large freezer bag. Save your pans for another dish.

Ground Pork Pesto Meatballs

1 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
Spaghetti or marinara sauce, for serving

In a large bowl, combine ground pork, pesto, bread crumbs, cheese and salt. Use a wooden spoon or hands to work all ingredients together.

Using a medium sized cookie scoop, form mixture into balls. Place them into disposable pans or if using freezer bags, you'll need to flash freeze them first. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place meatballs onto sheet. Place in freezer for at least an hour, or until frozen solid. Then transfer to a large freezer bag.

Make sure to label and date packages. One batch yields 24 meatballs.

When ready to use; thaw, pour desired sauce over top of meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

You may also cook meatballs before freezing, just make sure to let them cool completely before transferring to freezer. Then you'll just need to thaw,add sauce and reheat in the oven when ready to serve.

These are great served with pasta and salad or mashed potatoes and various other vegetables.

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