A dear friend of mine recently moved back home after several years away. To welcome her back, I invited her over for a home cooked meal.
I don’t know what inspired me to make up a new meatball recipe to try out on an Italian friend, but I went for it. And she loved them! So did my (also Italian) husband. The Worcestershire sauce added a really nice depth of flavor that was different from other meatballs I’ve had.
The meatballs stuck to the pan a bit, so I mentioned that maybe I should have sprayed the pan or lined it before cooking them, but the browned bits were a big hit with the Italian crowd. Use this information to determine if you want to line the pan or not if you decide to make these beauties. And you should!
My friend told me they’re the best meatballs she’s had, and that’s a major compliment coming from someone who has lived in Italy! (My personal favorites to come out of my tiny kitchen are these Spaghetti con Polpette di Carne).
I think this recipe would also work well with ground turkey, or meatloaf mix (a combination of veal, pork and beef). I served this over whole grain spaghetti with Oven Roasted Grape Tomatoes, freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and a big batch of My Favorite Garlic Bread.
Baked Italian Meatballs
Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
1 pound ground beef (I used 85% lean, grass-fed)
1/3 cup reduced fat milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced (1-2 tablespoons total)
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place beef in a medium bowl, lightly breaking it up with your fingers. Add in rest of ingredients and mix lightly with your hands, being careful not to over mix.
Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet, leaving space between each meatball. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars