14. Cheesy Italian Meatballs with Marinara
- 6-8 oz ground beef
- flat-leaf parsley
- 1.5 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 150 mL milk
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 cups marinara sauce (you can use my recipe here)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Basil for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a small bowl, pour in the breadcrumbs and milk. Mix well and let the mixture sit until the breadcrumbs have become soggy, about 10-20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the meat followed by the garlic and parsley. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and combine all the ingredients thoroughly with either your hands, a spoon or a stand mixer (if increasing this recipe I would recommend using a stand mixer).
- Portion out the meatballs into 6 equal sized balls by either using a 1.5 oz scoop or portioning by hands. Now gently ball each portion into a meatball by gently pressing the meatball against your palm while tossing to smooth each size. Apply some pressure to ensure meatballs do not collapse while cooking. Note: You can apply some oil onto your hands to avoid the meat from sticking.
- Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Place the meatballs in counter-clockwise direction on the pan. Cook for a few minutes on one side, until it starts to get a slight char. Flip and repeat. Do not cook the meatballs entirely, as they will finish cooking with the marinara sauce in the oven.
- After both sides of the meatballs have browned, take them off the heat. put a generous ladlefuls of marinara sauce into each cassesrole, reserving 2-3 tbsps for the topping. Create a bed of mozzarella cheese and gently place three meatballs down the center. Pour on the reserved marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and the rest of parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Garnish with basil, serve hot, and enjoy!