A bowl of pasta and meatballs makes just about everyone happy, including me. Believe it or not, it’s an easy meal to pull together during the week and I’m always on the hunt for easy meals the entire family will like. I often double this recipe and make a big batch so I always have some on hand. I let them cool after they come out of the oven (I don’t put them in the sauce) and then put them in a zip top bag for an extra dinner in the future. They are great sliced on pizza, in a hero, for a snack or even an appetizer.
The meatballs are baked in the oven rather than on the stove so clean up is easy since there won’t be any oil splattering all over the kitchen – a major selling point for me. I also like using less oil to cut down on calories. You can certainly slave over the stove making your own sauce but for a great shortcut I go with my favorite jar sauce, Patsy’s. Good food with good shortcuts is the name of the game for weeknights.
One of the keys to delicious meatballs – or any recipe – is great ingredients. For these I always use ground beef with a high enough fat/meat ratio so they don’t dry out. 80/20 is my go-to and I balance the extra fat with the cooking in the oven vs. the stove. Sometimes I will do 1 pound of beef and then add 1 pound of pork which adds great flavor.
2 lbs Ground beef (80/20)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 c Bread crumbs (I mix Italian and plain panko)
1 c Parmesan, grated
1 c Warm water
2 tbs Dried parsley
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
Preheat the oven on to 400.
Combine the meat, eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Add the water a little at a time. The meat mixture should be wet but still hold its shape.
Use a small ice cream scoop to form the meatballs. You can roll them in your hands to shape them. Be sure to wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick.
Place the meatballs on a foil and parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake till they are browned and sizzling, approximately 20 minutes.
This recipe usually yields about 40 – 45 meatballs.