The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Italian Meatballs

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Level: Easy

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Description

Rule #28: Ice cream scoops are for more than just ice cream.

I love me a good meatball. Swedish. Italian. Asian. Sweet + Spicy. Meatballs of all persuasions are just dandy in my book. This version of Italian meatballs is a twist on the famous Rao’s Meatballs in East Harlem. I decided to swap out Italian turkey sausage for the pork/veal to keep it on the lighter side, but the flavor is still there in all its Italian glory.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 90/10 Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Ground Italian Seasoned Turkey
  • 2  Eggs, Slightly Whisked
  • 1 cup Parmesan, Grated Or Shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced Or Pressed
  • 1-½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Lukewarm Water
  • Olive Oil For Browning
  • 2 jars (24 Oz. Size) Marinara Sauce

Preparation

Combine beef and turkey in a large bowl. Add eggs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mash everything together using your hands until ingredients are evenly distributed. Add breadcrumbs and mash into meat mixture. Pour in water and mash again until combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, form balls using your hands. Set meatballs onto a Pyrex dish or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze meatballs for 20–25 minutes or until firm. This will keep them from falling apart when you brown them.

Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour in olive oil so that the oil is about 1/4 inch deep. Heat oil until shimmering (you want to hear a sizzle as soon as you put a meatball in).

Brown meatballs in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook for about 1–2 minutes each side, turning to brown all sides of the meatballs. The middle part of the meatball will still be raw at this point, and that’s okay (see note below). Remove the meatballs from the oil and set to drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Heat marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once sauce is warmed, gently drop in the meatballs, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Flip meatballs to coat them in the sauce, cover, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.

Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and basil or parsley.

Notes:
1. If you’re making the meatballs ahead of time, go ahead and preheat your oven to 350ºF after browning the meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Warm them in marinara sauce over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
2. To freeze, after baking meatballs, allow meatballs to cool on baking sheet. Store in large Ziploc bag or freezer container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight, then warm in sauce as above.

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