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Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara - CC


To minimize sticking, use slightly wet hands to roll and form the meatballs in step 2. This recipe makes enough sauce to coat 1 pound of pasta; these meatballs also make great subs.

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  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/4 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 3 (4 1/2-inch-long) sticks mozzarella string cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes



Step 1

1. Combine panko, 1/2 cup Parmesan, eggs, 2 tablespoons basil, half of garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Add sausage and knead with your hands until incorporated into panko mixture. Add beef and knead until just incorporated. (Do not overmix or meatballs will be tough.) Using greased 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, divide meat mixture into 15 portions and place on plate.

2. Cut mozzarella sticks crosswise into fifteen 3/4-inch cubes (each stick should yield 5 cubes). Place 1 mozzarella cube in center of each meat portion and pinch meat around cheese to enclose. Roll meat between wet hands to form completely sealed meatball. Place stuffed meatballs on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add meatballs and cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Flip meatballs and cook until browned on opposite side, about 3 minutes. Transfer meatballs to plate. (Sides of meatballs will still appear raw.)

4. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add onion and cook until just softened and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add oregano and remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

5. Nestle meatballs in sauce with 1 browned side up and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 4 minutes. Flip meatballs so second browned side is up. Cover and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve.

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