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The meatballs are surprisingly moist and flavorful for using only beef. I normally don't measure the seasonings so you may have to adjust, I also don't measure the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup is about right but sometimes I adjust. I play around with this recipe and it always comes out good. Use a really good quality, chunky tomato sauce if you are using a jarred one.
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese or 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons italian seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄2 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped (use less garlic, if you want, I like a lot)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you may need more)
- 1 (25 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (or homemade, a really chunky one is best)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese or 2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese or 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
- 1 lb uncooked large macaroni or 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- Heat oven to 350.
- For the meatballs, mix first 7 ingredients in a large bowl thoroughly with your hands. Form into balls, I usually make rather large ones but the size is up to you, although the bigger ones come out more moist.
- Boil a large pot of well salted water and add pasta when boiling, cook to just almost al dente, then drain.
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook untill soft. Do not stir too much, just give it a shake every couple minutes.
- Add meatballs to pan and turn up heat to med high and brown on all sides.
- Add spaghetti sauce to pan to cover meatballs. Add a little pasta water to thin out, if needed. turn heat back to medium or medium-low and simmer untill meatballs are mostly cooked through.
- Add pasta to a large casserole or baking dish, pour meatballs and sauce over pasta and mix slightly to make sure everything is mixed and coated with sauce. Keeping the meatballs down more on the bottom makes them come out more moist.
- Spinkle cheeses evenly over the top and bake for about 15 minutes, or untill cheese is melted and meatballs are done.
I really enjoyed this tasty, easy to prepare meal. I followed all ingredients as posted (I, too, love alot of garlic!), using parmesan cheese and rigatoni pasta. The only modification that I made to the cooking instructions was that I never turned up the stove to medium high to brown the meatballs (kept it at medium), as I was afraid that the onion and garlic would burn. My meatballs held together well during the stovetop cooking and came out of the oven moist and flavorful, as promised. I also had the dish for leftovers the next day. I thought it was a little dry, so I would try to serve it at at time where it would be finished in one meal or save some sauce for reheating the next day. I would definitely make this recipe again. Thanks for posting!