A Rustic Meal

This past week I was a bad food blogger…. I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and FORGOT to take pictures of them! (GASP) I know…shame on me. And I had already given the pretty looking ones away when I realized… duh Kimberly, you must take photos of everything you make! But I did snag one picture when I remembered:

Cookie a la Mode

They were tasty, but I know I can make them better. Pumpkin season is NOT over yet!!

But I do have a good recipe on hand when you want some nice Italian comfort food! And if meatballs are not comfort food for Italians, I don’t know what is! ESPECIALLY when they are stuffed with CHEESE!!

I could never give up cheese….too tasty! And these meatballs have the sneaky addition of spinach. Yes, vegetables DO belong in meatballs and no one will ever know the difference. These are so versatile too! Put these over pasta, spaghetti squash, or just on a whole wheat hoagie roll to make a meatball sub.

But I don’t think anything could go wrong when you stuff something with cheese, but you can be the judge of that.

But don’t forget the garlic bread! Meatballs and cheese and garlic bread… dinner is served!

Italian Meatballs 

Print this recipe!

 Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (about 1/2 packed cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 low fat string cheeses – each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 24 oz jar tomato sauce of your choice
Directions

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients together. Mix with your hands until everything is evenly combined. Be sure not to squish the meat too much with your fingers, otherwise the meatballs will be tough!
Take about 2 tablespoons of meat and flatted out into a disc. Place one of the pieces of string cheese in the center and fold the meat around the cheese, encapsulating it. Repeat with the remaining meat until you have made about 16 small meatballs.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the meatballs once hot. Brown the meatballs, about 2 minutes per side or until a caramelized brown color.
Flip the meatballs to the other side to brown for another 2 – 3 minutes. Once evenly brown, deglaze the pan with the wine.
Turn the heat down to medium low and add the jar of tomato sauce. Cover and allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 15 – 20 minutes. The meat should be cooked throughly and the cheese should be melted.
Serve over pasta and vegetables for a well rounded meal!

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