A childhood favorite of mine and the perfect comfort food for this bitter cold weather… Enjoy these meatballs loaded with salty cheddar and spinach. My mother’s recipe calls for all ground beef, but I decided to add a little bit of a kick by substituting part of the meat with hot Italian ground sausage. Happy New Year to all and stay cozy!
Makes 12 meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. hot Italian ground sausage
1 c. chopped frozen spinach – thawed and drained
1 c. cheddar cheese shredded
3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion – finely chopped
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly cracked pepper
1 t. parsley
1 28 oz. can of whole San Marzano tomatoes in thick juice
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with hands. Roll meatballs into desired size and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Heat a shallow non stick lidded pan over medium heat. Drizzle pan with olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, place meatballs in pan and sear, turning several times until nicely browned and almost caramelized. Remove from heat.
Using a pair of clean kitchen shears, cut tomatoes up in the can – no need to dirty another bowl! Pour cut tomatoes with juice over meatballs. Place lid over meatballs and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Serve over hot fresh pasta with freshly grated parmesan reggiano cheese or with warm crusty bread.