Italian Cheese Stuffed Beef Meatballs

meatballsWho doesn’t love moan-inducing stuffed balls of juicy meat that burst with melting cheese! They’re baked not fried so require no time slaving over a spattering pan. These baked meatballs are tasty tossed with pasta, stuffed in a sandwich, as well as cold (not that many make it to the fridge!). The addition of milk guarantees a tender ball.

1/2 White Onion, minced or 1 Green Onion, chopped
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 egg
1 slice Bread, chopped finely
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
A few sprigs of Fresh Parsley or 1 tsp. Dried Parsley
3 Tbsps. Milk
1/2 tsp. Salt
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
3 thick slices of Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups of plain tomato sauce
1 tsp. Italian Blend Spice

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix together the above ingredients with the exception of the cheese, tomato sauce, and Italian spices. Use a spoon to measure out the meat mix and form into balls approx. 1.5 inches across. Makes 12-14 balls. Set aside. Cube each cheese slice into 6 for a total of 18 cubes. Press a cube into each ball, pinching the meat behind the cheese to close the hole.
In a 9” x13” baking dish, pour tomato sauce and sprinkle with Italian spices. Arrange the meatballs in the sauce so that they do not touch each other. With the extra cheese cubes, toss in the sauce between the balls. Slide the dish into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove one ball, slice in half and check to make sure the meat is no longer pink.
Toss sauce with cooked pasta (four servings) and arrange meatballs ontop, or stuff into buns for meatball sammies (four sandwiches).
Serve pasta with freshly grated parmesan.

If you want to lux it up a bit, toss a few mushrooms (thinly sliced) into the sauce before baking and drizzle truffle oil over plated pasta.

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