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Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Maria Provenzano is preparing a mouth-watering Italian appetizer with beef, pork and a variety of flavorful herbs.
Ingredients
  • 1lb beef
  • 1lb pork
  • 1 onion; finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves; minced
  • ¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs; room temperature
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup half and half (all cream or all whole milk works as well); room temperature
  • 6 oz smoked mozzarella; regular can be used as well, but I recommend smoked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • fresh parsley and fresh basil for finishing


Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

2. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add in the onion with a sprinkle of salt, and cook until softened

3. Add in the minced garlic, dried rosemary, basil, thyme, and red pepper flakes; cook for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant, being sure NOT to brown the garlic

4. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool

5. In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, and parmesan cheese

6. Add them to the cooled onion mixture; then stir in the ketchup, half and half, salt, and pepper

7. Stir in the meat; start by breaking it up with a fork, then use your hands to combine the mixture until everything is evenly mixed, being careful not to over-mix

8. Use a small scoop, or tablespoon measuring spoon, to scoop out 1 tablespoon size meatball onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; this will make about 60 small meatballs, so you will need 2-3 baking sheets depending on their size

9. Once all of the mixture is scooped, cut the mozzarella into small cubes; small enough to fit inside the scooped meatballs

10. Pick up one meatball and use your finger to poke a hole in the center of the meatball; place the cube of smoked mozzarella on the hole; cover and roll the meatball into a round shape; place the stuffed meatball back onto the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil

11. Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through

12. Add the meatballs to tomato sauce in a stock pot and cook together for about 20 minutes

13. If you are making these ahead of time, allow the mixture to cool at this point and simply reheat when ready to serve; If using a slow cooker to serve, you can reheat them in the slow cooker over high heat for about an hour, making sure to stir them every so often until heated through, then turn the heat to warm.

14. Serve as is, over pasta, or on a bun! Right before serving top the meatballs with chopped fresh basil and/or parsley

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