Serve these baked meatballs which have a surprise inside - a melting centre of mozzarella with a greenhouse tomato sauce on spaghetti or mashed potatoes.
Baking Time: 15 minutes
- 12 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes Ontario Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Ontario Egg
- 1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1 lb (500 g) ground Ontario Veal
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) dry bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 Ontario Onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Ontario Greenhouse Sweet Red Pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried Italian seasoning
- 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh Ontario Basil
Meatballs: Place mozzarella cubes on plate and freeze for 15 minutes, or up to 1 hour. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside.
In large bowl, using fork, beat egg and Italian seasoning until blended. Add veal and breadcrumbs; combine with fork just until blended. Divide into twelve equal portions. Wrap each portion around 1 cheese cube, shaping into about 1-1/2-inch (3.5 cm) meatball. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven until firm and well-browned on the outside and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes.
Sauce: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring often, until peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes start to release their juice, about 5 minutes. Serve meatballs topped with sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil.
If you like a little more heat, increase the red pepper flakes in the sauce to 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (1 to 2 mL) and/or add 1/4 tsp (1 mL) to the meatball mixture.
Be sure to use a gently hand when mixing the meatball mixture to keep them tender – working the meat too much can cause the cooked meatballs to be tough.
When baking the meatballs, some of the cheese may ooze out and that’s okay, there will still be plenty inside.
Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes and Peppers are available from April to November.
1 Serving (3 meatballs with sauce):
- PROTEIN: 33 grams
- FAT: 21 grams
- CARBOHYDRATE: 17 grams
- CALORIES: 396
- FIBRE: 2 grams
- SODIUM: 550 mg