Monday, August 15, 2011

Sauce & Mini-Cheesy Meatballs

Sundays are always hectic & this past one was pret-ty busy! Between church & some chores including the market, time slipped though my hands. I had promised pasta, sauce & meatballs, only to get home around 4pm-ish. Uh oh. Well, well there's a will, there's a way... I ended up making sauce with mini-meatballs (as opposed to my gigantic, "normal" ones) & prepared a dinner for Monday (work begins to be extremely hectic this week), as well as some normal week prep within an hour! How? I twitched my nose, of course! Well really, this is how:

Sauce & Mini-Cheesy Meatballs
Prep the sauce first...
  • 1 TBsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped & diced very small
  • 1 clove garlic, kept whole, smashed
  • 1 TBsp tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 large cans tomato sauce
  • S & P
  • 1 bay leaf (take out at end)
  • Fresh Basil
Heat olive oil on medium & add the onions. Saute until they are translucent but not browned. Add in the garlic for a moment, stir. Incorporate the tomato paste into the onion garlic mixture & cook for another minute. Add in the basil & oregano, stir. Change the burner heat to low. Add in the bay leaf & tomato sauce... Stir in the sugar. Allow sauce to simmer on low while you prep the meatballs...

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese mix (provolone/mozzarella/asiago/parmesan/ romano)
  • 1 clove minced garlic 
  • 2 TBSp fresh Basil, chiffonade
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup AP Flour
  • 2-3 TBSp olive oil
Place the ground beef in a large bowl. add the next 6 ingredients onto the top of the beef, ending with the egg. Using your hands, gently fold all of the ingredients into the beef, combining them but not overly mixing them. Shape into 24 tiny  round mounds.

In a saute pan, heat the oil on medium-high.

On a separate plate, place the flour for dipping. Using tongs, dip each meatball into the flour, gently tapping off the excess (flour). Place as many into the heated pan as you can. Now watch the meatballs carefully- do not let them brown too much or burn... roll each around to make sure they equally brown on all sides. This technique "seals" the meatballs together, keeps them intact once they hit the sauce & allows for a delicious, juicy interior!

After the first meatballs are "sealed", add them into the simmering sauce, covering them in it.  Once all the meatballs are in the sauce simmering away, stir. Then allow your sauce to simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Make your favorite pasta & enjoy!!!! 

<3 Lishie

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