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Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs

Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs: A Symphony of Italian Comfort

Get ready to indulge in a culinary masterpiece with our Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs – a fusion of classic Italian flavors that promises to elevate your dining experience. This recipe takes the traditional spaghetti and meatballs to a new level by incorporating gooey, melty cheese into each savory meatball. Join us on this gastronomic adventure as we guide you through crafting this symphony of textures and tastes. From the succulent meatballs to the rich tomato sauce, every element of this dish is designed to evoke the warmth of an Italian kitchen.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella cheese cubes (cut into small pieces)

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to balance acidity)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

For Serving:

  • Cooked spaghetti

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Meatballs

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, eggs, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Mix the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Take a portion of the meat mixture and flatten it in your hand. Place a small cube of mozzarella in the center and form the meat around it, shaping it into a meatball. Repeat for the remaining mixture.

Step 2: Brown the Meatballs

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the meatballs on all sides, ensuring a golden crust forms.

Step 3: Prepare the Sauce

  1. In the same skillet, sauté chopped onions until softened.
  2. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  3. Pour in crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. If the tomatoes are too acidic, add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavors.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Simmer Meatballs in Sauce

  1. Gently place the browned meatballs into the simmering sauce.
  2. Cover the skillet and let the meatballs cook in the sauce for an additional 15-20 minutes, ensuring they are cooked through.

Step 5: Cook Spaghetti

  1. While the meatballs simmer, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.

Step 6: Serve and Garnish

  1. Plate the cooked spaghetti and ladle the meatballs and sauce over the top.
  2. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and additional Parmesan if desired.

Step 7: Enjoy the Culinary Symphony

  1. Serve the Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs hot and savor the delightful combination of flavors.

Cook Notes

  • To prevent the meatballs from sticking, gently turn them with a spatula during the browning process.
  • Ensure the mozzarella cubes are well-centered in each meatball to create a gooey, cheesy center.

Variations

Vegetarian Twist

  • Create a vegetarian version by substituting meat with a mix of cooked lentils, breadcrumbs, and cheese for the meatballs.

Spicy Kick

  • Infuse some heat by adding crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce or incorporating spicy sausage into the meatball mixture.

Herb Garden Symphony

  • Elevate the flavor profile with a mix of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage in the meatballs.

Keto Version

For those on a keto journey, savor the flavor with these modifications:

For the Meatballs:

  • Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour or crushed pork rinds.

Cheese Choices:

  • Opt for full-fat mozzarella to keep the dish keto-friendly.

For the Sauce:

  • Choose a low-carb tomato sauce or make your own using fresh tomatoes.

Additional Variations:

  • Add keto-approved herbs like basil, thyme, or oregano for added depth.

Low-Carb Version

Trim down the carbs without compromising on taste:

For the Meatballs:

  • Use almond flour or coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs.

Cheese Choices:

  • Opt for aged cheeses like Parmesan and Pecorino for a lower-carb option.

For the Sauce:

  • Create a sauce using fresh tomatoes or choose a low-carb tomato sauce.

Additional Variations:

  • Integrate low-carb vegetables like zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.

In conclusion, Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs are a culinary celebration that brings together the heartiness of meatballs, the gooey richness of cheese, and the comforting embrace of tomato sauce. Whether you follow the classic recipe, explore tempting variations, or opt for keto and low-carb adaptations, this dish is a versatile canvas for culinary creativity. Share it with friends and family during gatherings, savor it as a comforting weeknight meal, or simply revel in the joy of crafting a dish that marries tradition with innovation. Let each forkful transport you to a realm where tender meatballs, melty cheese, and aromatic tomato sauce create a symphony of Italian comfort on your palate. Elevate your pasta experience with Spaghetti Cheese Meatballs – a culinary masterpiece that invites you to savor the richness of Italian cuisine in every bite.

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