Friday, April 8, 2011

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs and Tomato Basil Sauce

So while I was making these for dinner a while back I was making little comments to know stuff to remember for next time...stuff to be sure to tell you all about in case you decide to make these little meatballs from heaven...needless to say I said "balls" a lot...and my husband felt the need to share some of these comments on Facebook.  You see the things I put up with?!  Now you understand why I am frustrated!  Lol, no worries though, they got made, the family loved them and I tuned my silly hubby out long enough to write down what I need to tell you all about these "balls"!

I read about these on Picky Palate's site a few weeks ago and have been desperate to try them ever since.  It took a few tries, but I was so glad when I finally found a grocery store around here that had the marinated mozzarella balls...yes honey...I said balls.  Sigh.  Anyway...I used my normal meatball recipe and enclosed these yummy little bites of fresh mozzarella inside.  I then topped them off with my absolute favorite tomato basil sauce, a recipe I adapted from a Rachael Ray magazine a few years ago and paired them with spaghetti noodles and some buttered herb bread.  It was a great meal...ah, how I love pasta...and bread...and meatballs.  Yes honey, I know, I know...I said it again.

You will probably notice that I have much larger quantities shown in these picture than my recipes call for...I was cooking for 8 people...who are partly Italian...and who LOVE pasta

Our Meatball ingredients

Mix all the meatball ingredients together well 

Super yummy marinated mozzarella BFF introduced me to these a few years ago...thanks Sarah!!!!! : D

Place one mozzarella ball into a divot made in each meatball

Bake for half an hour and then try not to eat them before dinner!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
idea borrowed from Picky Palate

1  1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced onions (or dried minced onions if you are out of onions like me...)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg. marinated fresh mozzarella balls

*measurements are approximate...I usually don't measure mine out

Mix all of the ingredients together except for the mozzarella balls.  Roll into whatever size meatballs you prefer, mine were about and inch and half in diameter.  Drain the mozzarella balls, being sure to get as much oil out as possible without losing any of them because it makes it a lot easier to seal them in if they are not all slimy with oil.  Place one mozzarella ball into each meatball and completely enclose the cheese, being sure to seal the ground beef mixture well around it so that it doesn't all melt out.  Bake in the oven at 350 F for 30 minutes or so.

We will start with some tips for chopping fresh basil.  Stack up all of the leaves

Roll them all up together...

Slice them finely...

Turn the knife or your cutting board and while rocking your chef's knife back and forth, finely chop the basil or whatever other herb you are using for your particular recipe.


Saute the onions and garlic

Add the tomato sauce, basil and Parmesan cheese

Simmer until your pasta and meatballs are done!

Basil Tomato Sauce
adapted from a Rachael Ray magazine a few years ago...not sure which one

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
30 oz. canned tomato sauce
7 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup diced onions (again use dried if you have to like I did this time)

First, start a large pan of water to boil for the pasta. In a sauce pan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in about a Tbsp. of olive oil until onions are transparent or the garlic is lightly browned.  Add the tomato sauce, basil and parmesan.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer on super low heat until the meatballs and pasta are done.

For the bread, I just sliced up a loaf I bought at the store and spread a little bit of butter I had mixed with basil on it and broiled it for about 2 minutes in the oven.



  1. SQUEEEE Cheese Balls!!!! Did you find a really nice small Italian Deli? OMG they look so good I am so going to try that when I get stateside!!!! Miss you to pieces I wish you were here with those meat balls drool!!!!

  2. I actually managed to find them at one of the grocery stores up in Longview (bigger town north of us). As soon as I saw the recipe I thought of you and had to make them!