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Baked Italian Meatballs

Baked Italian Meatballs: A Culinary Symphony of Savory Perfection

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Indulge in the aromatic allure of classic Italian flavors with our recipe for Baked Italian Meatballs. This culinary masterpiece captures the essence of traditional Italian cooking, combining a medley of herbs and spices to create savory, tender meatballs. Join us on a gastronomic journey as we explore the art of crafting these delectable spheres of delight, perfect for pasta dishes, sandwiches, or simply on their own. Discover the secrets to achieving the perfect texture and taste, all while savoring the rich essence of Italy in every bite.

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal
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Ingredients

For Italian Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Crafting the Perfect Italian Meatballs:

  1. Preheat and Prepare:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, minced garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
  3. Shape the Meatballs:
    • Scoop out portions of the mixture and roll them into meatballs, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake to Perfection:
    • Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are browned and cooked through.

Simmering Marinara Sauce:

  1. Sauté Garlic:
    • In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add Crushed Tomatoes:
    • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Simmer to Flavorful Consistency:
    • Allow the marinara sauce to simmer for 20-25 minutes, letting the flavors meld into a rich and savory concoction.

Bringing It All Together:

  1. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Place the baked meatballs in the simmered marinara sauce, ensuring they are well-coated. Serve over pasta, in a sandwich, or as a standalone delight.

Cook’s Notes

  • Meatball Moisture: To keep the meatballs moist, avoid overmixing the meat mixture, and consider using a combination of ground beef and pork.
  • Browning Tip: For a golden brown exterior, you can broil the meatballs for an additional 2-3 minutes after baking.

Variations

Cheese-Stuffed Marvels:

  • Add a surprise element by stuffing each meatball with a cube of mozzarella or your favorite cheese.

Spicy Kick:

  • Infuse some heat by incorporating crushed red pepper flakes into the meatball mixture.

Keto Versions

Almond Flour Substitute:

  • Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour for a keto-friendly alternative.

Zucchini Noodles Bed:

  • Serve the meatballs on a bed of zucchini noodles for a low-carb option.

Low-Carb Versions

Cauliflower Rice Complement:

  • Pair the meatballs with cauliflower rice for a satisfying low-carb meal.

Lettuce Wrap Delight:

  • Enjoy the meatballs wrapped in lettuce leaves for a refreshing, low-carb twist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! You can prepare the meatballs and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before baking.

Q: Can I freeze the baked meatballs?

A: Yes, these meatballs freeze well. Allow them to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

Q: Can I use different meat combinations?

A: Certainly! Experiment with ground turkey, chicken, or a mixture of meats for diverse flavor profiles.

Q: How do I prevent the meatballs from being too dense?

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

A: Avoid overmixing the meat mixture and consider incorporating a combination of ground beef and pork for a lighter texture.

Baked Italian Meatballs offer a ticket to Italy in every bite, delivering a perfect blend of savory herbs, rich meats, and a robust marinara sauce. Whether you savor them atop a bed of pasta, nestled in a sandwich, or on their own, these meatballs are a testament to the culinary wonders of Italian cuisine. Experiment with variations, adapt to keto and low-carb preferences, and relish the joy of creating a dish that brings families together around the dinner table. Let Baked Italian Meatballs become a cherished addition to your culinary repertoire, a dish that embodies the heart and soul of traditional Italian comfort food. Buon Appetito!

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