Who says that you need macaroni with meatballs? Just make them JUMBO sized and you’ll have yourself a delicious and simple dinner.
You’ll love the cheesy goodness in each bite, as well as the fresh Italian bread you used to make them. Garlicy and full of fresh ingredients, this recipe is a larger version of my Italian Meatballs. Except this time I made a simple, 30-minute homemade red sauce to go with it. So worth it!
Most of your time will be spent prepping – chopping parsley, grating cheese, measuring red pepper flakes and such. But as with any kind of meatball, just dive right in and mix with your hands! Ladies, just make sure you take your rings off. Getting raw meat stuck in your ring’s prongs is just so gross.
Rather than frying these meatballs (oh, you know how I love that), you just throw these babies in the oven for 30ish minutes. While that’s baking, get started on the sauce. Some sliced garlic, fresh basil, crushed tomatoes, salt… and let it simmer for 30 minutes. The final step is to add the meatballs to the sauce, then serve with a spoonful of ricotta on top.
Yum, yum, yum! Serve with a side salad and you’ll have yourself a fun twist on the traditional macaroni and meatballs.
- 3 1/2 cups torn Italian bread
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef or meatloaf mix (veal/pork/beef - for my meatballs, I used a mixture of the two)
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 cup romano cheese, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 springs of fresh basil
- Sprinkle of dried basil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Ricotta cheese, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil
- Mix all of the ingredients together (using your hands is easiest!). Try not to overmix.
- Form "tennis ball" size balls and place on the greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until browned.
- In a deep pan, drizzle the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and saute until soft, about 1 minute.
- Add the can of crushed tomatoes (careful, don't get splattered!), the fresh basil, sprinkle of dried basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste test and add more salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to your liking.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the pan and spoon the sauce over them. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then serve with a heap of ricotta cheese on top.