So I have a confession. I’ve been holding out on you with this recipe. Well okay actually 2 recipes.. this beef and pork version and a chicken version (coming up soon). I have had it in my repertoire for some time that I had every intention of sharing with you but I got side tracked and ultimately I forgot about it. See at times when I have a ton going on at once I can be that person that you can be having a full, deep conversation with and out of the corner of my eye I spy something shiny. I will immediately lose focus and follow the sparkly thing. It doesn’t happen often but I’m human and it has happened. Well this is one of those times. It was like “so I think that the ITIL standard should be where we require…” SQUIRREL! and immediately I’ve ended mid sentence to concentrate on the other item.
I think as humans we all get distracted for various reasons – overworked, tired, sexy stranger, baby crying, laughter or if you’re like me… shiny/glittery things. LOL Well these Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatballs will surely catch your eye and distract you from whatever you are doing. Those delicate little juicy meatballs just exploding with melty cheese will trump whatever you’re concentrating on every time. How can you not be drawn into these luscious little browned bits of heaven; so juicy, so tender. And just barely peeking out is that melty, ooey gooey cheese molten like a river of lava cheese.
Well these caught my eye but more importantly they caught the eye of Mr. Fantabulous. He had come into the house after working in his shop for hours starving and tired. I had just pulled these babies out of the oven and they were at their peak. He came in complaining about the weather (he is so not a cold weather person), that damn stupid rooster from next door that cannot tell friggen time (crow at sunrise, not all friggen day and night – stupid thing!) and that he was starving. I mean he went a whole 4 hours without eating or a snack. Inhumane I know! But wait, let me go back to that damn stupid rooster. Wait, let me go a bit further…. roosters as in more than 1 stupid thing that serves ZERO purpose other than to make more chickens/roosters.
You do NOT need a rooster to make eggs. Did you know that? I now do since living next to those people and their flippin’ grand-fathered in pseudo farm. See hens will produce their own eggs without the help of the stupid rooster. Yes, stupid rooster. Can you tell this is a sore spot for me? The ONLY purpose those stupid things serve is to make more chicks. Now these people do not raise chickens. They only have them because it started as a science project. Now these things have reproduced over and over. We’ve asked 17 ways from Sunday to please get rid of the roosters as those damn things crow ALL NIGHT LONG and ALL DAY LONG! No literally… ALL FRIGGEN 24 HOURS! But they are jerkface jerkwads and refuse to. Now I’m not one to wish harm on any living thing but I would not be sad if they ran away… the roosters or the jerkface jerkwads. Both pretty much suck *wink*
See… there I go, sidetracked. LOL It’s a good thing I’m so pretty huh (as she pets her hair and bats her big baby blues) HAHA So yeah he was starving. Well as he was mid complaint he spied these and immediately he started with “WOW, what are those? Can we eat them now? What’s that white stuff coming out? Can we eat them? Is that cheese oozing out? Why aren’t we eating them now? They don’t look like traditional Italian meatballs, will I like them? HELLO? Why are we not eating them yet?” LOL
Dear God help me with that man! So I plated 2 dishes just like in the pictures. A few ladles of hot marinara sauce, the meatballs and a few slices of garlic bread. As he sat down the questions continued until he took that first bite and commence silence…
Silence, such a beautiful thing. The only thing that made those moments even more perfect is his talking, with mouth open trying to suck in/blow out air as these meatballs that I just pulled out of the oven were super hot. The man LOVED LOVED LOVED these. Now normally when I serve meatballs they are either in pasta, as a hoagie or stuffed in manicotti. I never have served him just a plate of meatballs and sauce. Now that type of serving of the meatballs is pretty standard in his family. The meatballs are always served on the side and eaten after the pasta.
Spaghetti with meatballs is not an authentic Italian dish. Did you know that? If pasta and meatballs are served in the same meal, the two ingredients will be served separately – the spaghetti as a primi and the meatball(s) (polpettone or polpette) as a secondo. Spaghetti served with “red sauce” and topped with meatballs is an American creation. In general meatballs are inexpensive, hearty fare, and for Italian immigrants in America, they were an easy way to get a taste of home. But once the immigrants settled in “Americanized” meatballs were transformed from delicate to soup fodder into the fat, richly spiced, red sauce covered items we now so identify with Italian food.
Now these meatballs were awesome the next day in a hollowed out chewy hoagie roll with just a bit of sauce. Since they are stuffed with cheese there really isn’t a need to add more cheese on top but who am I kidding? The left side of my body is made up of cheese.. there is never EVER too much cheese. Ever! Kind of like bacon… one cannot OD on bacon. Honestly from now on when I make meatball hoagies I will only use these type of meatballs. The addition of the cheese in the middle was all kinds of awesometastic. Yes… awesometastic.. go with it. You know me, I’m one for making up words. It works for me and my personality.
And yes I did try these on top of spaghetti and honestly I didn’t like it. It was ‘weird’ HOWEVER I did make baked meatball ziti and nestled these into the pasta bake and that I loved BIG TIME! I’m weird, I know. It’s kinda like one of my girlfriends… she would rather set fire to her plate than eat a raw onion yet she will order onion rings every single time we go out. No seriously… she’ll order a salad without onions (trust me, she’ll send it back if it comes with them on it), a cheeseburger with no onions (even sautéed) but onion rings instead of fries. And every single time she gets an odd look from the wait staff. I just smile and said “go with it”.
Now as I mentioned earlier I do have 2 renditions of these – this beef and pork one and also a chicken one. It’s not a simple swap chicken for beef/pork. I tried it and they were too dry. But be patient grasshopper. I’ll be sharing that soon. Since the SuperBowl is this weekend, this is a PERFECT dish to serve while you watch the commercials… er the game. Sorry but I can’t get into the game this year as the Steelers aren’t in it and with all the controversy that is around the whole ‘deflated balls’, I just will watch the commercials and look at shiny things while the game is being played. LOLPrint
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 XL eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 4 slices stale white bread, crusts removed and torn
- 3 1/4 ounces grated Parmesan
- 1–2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon ground garlic
- 1 1/4 tablespoon onion powder
- 4–6 string mozzarella cheese sticks, each cut into 1/4” pieces (5 per stick)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a baking pan with foil and spray with olive oil.
- In a bowl add the bread and the milk, press down to soak the bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, strain the bread from the milk and place the wet bread in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients (except the string cheese pieces). You can discard the milk.
- With wet hands, shape half of the meatball and put 1 piece of string cheese in.
- Place additional meal on the outside and form into a tight meatball.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium heat, pan sear the meatballs for 4-6 minutes per side until you create a brown pan seared crust.
- Remove from the pan and place on the foil lined tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until 165F.
- Serve with warm Marinara Sauce.