Meatballs a la Pizzaiola
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.
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