Meatballs a la Pizzaiola and Giveaway Winner!
There are some food items that combine two good things to form something unbelievably amazing, like bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. Jalapeno poppers taste amazing as is, but when you wrap a slice of bacon on it, it becomes just heavenly, melt-in-your mouth-out-of-this-world delicious! But I digress. The point that I’m trying to make is that I’ve just discovered another amazing combination food item: mozzarella-stuffed meatballs.
I’ve been wanting to make these for a quite a while now but because I made those Meatball Subs not too long ago, I put them off for a bit. But I finally decided to make them for the dinner party because not only did it create a batch of 35 meatballs but they were so simple to make. Most of the ingredients are combined into a food processor (no dicing and chopping necessary, except for the smoked mozzarella), creating a sun-dried tomato mixture, which are then mixed with the meat and sausage. The meatballs are then formed into 1 1/2-inch balls, my favorite part of making meatballs, which are then fried for a minute or two. They’re finished off in the oven for about 15 minutes and voila, there you have oozing smoked mozzarella from a ball of meat. What else is there left to say?
Meatballs a la Pizzaiola (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis):
Yields 8-10 servings
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 80% lean
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 8 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Marinara sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the beef and sausage.
Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined.
Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs.
Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, enclosing the cheese.
Heat 2-inches equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 300 degrees F. Working in batches, add the meatballs to the hot oil and fry until dark brown, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; repeat to cook remaining meatballs.
Place the fried meatballs onto prepared baking sheet.
Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes.
Serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.
The winner of the American Express $100 gift card is comment number 5:
Roy Kim said…
That looks amazing
My favorite 6 ingredient recipe would probably be in sandwich form. I’d say pizza since I prefer simpler pizzas than complex ones. The dough, garlic pesto, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, and sausages.
Congratulations to the winner. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address so your gift card can be sent out to you.
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