These aren’t your average meatball.
Stuffed with bits of red pepper, sundried tomato and fresh parsley, these really don’t need anything more than a toothpick (or a fork, if you must). But, when you take a bit of fresh mozzarella and tomato and top them with half a meatball, it’s awesome. breathtaking. orgasmic. indescribably delicious. Total party in my mouth sensation.
How cute would these be to pass at a party? Seriously. It takes caprese salad to a whole new level. You could even add in a basil leaf, if you wanted.
So, how are these made? The process is simple, you start by mixing up all the dry ingredients. Then you add the egg and stir that in, so it’s well combined. Then you mix in the meat. I am a big proponent of kneading seasonings into meat by hand (don’t forget to wash first!). I think it works best to really get them combined in a full and absolute way.
Then you roll the meatballs into one-inch balls. No need to get the ruler out or anything, just do it by feel and site, making all the little balls about the same size. And no worries about crowding them onto the baking sheet–unlike cookies, it’s totally okay if you put them all really close together.
Finally you bake. That’s it. The best part? All in all, these can be ready in about 45 minutes — chopping included. That’s nothing, right? And while they are cooking, you could cut the cheese and tomato, make something else, whatever … easy peasy.
And guess what? Will and Paige couldn’t get enough of these. Then again, neither could I. They were really that good.
Now, before I give you the recipe and send you off to bake up these delightful little meatballs, I want to introduce you all to someone. Earlier this year, I was partnered with The Teacher Cooks for the latest round of Adopt-a-Blogger. Once or twice a year, veteran bloggers take a newbie blogger under their wing and offer guidance and advice on how to improve their blogging and reach their goals.
Now, I have to admit, when I looked at the The Teacher Cooks’ site, I wondered why she needs any help at all. She has beautiful photos, fantastic recipes and a great concept: she shares things she actually makes with her students — including photos of their creations. It’s genius. We’ve been trading emails for awhile, and I hope I have been (and might continue to be) a help to her. But right now, I wish you would just head over to her site and say hello. She’s a great gal and a fab blogger.
Now, onto the recipe.
Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Meatballs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped red peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, sundried tomatoes, red peppers, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper and salt. Stir in the egg. Add the ground beef and knead with your hands until well mixed. Roll the meat into 1-inch meatballs and place close together on the baking sheet.
Slide the meatballs into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until browned all around and cooked through. Flip all the meatballs once during cooking.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Tomato, Mozzarella and Meatball Stacks
fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch slices and quarted
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 batch Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Meatballs (above)
Arrange the mozzarella on a plate and top with a slice of tomato. Cut all of the meatballs in half and stack on top. Serve immediately.
Want to make this more like caprese salad? Add a basil leaf to each stack between the tomato and mozzarella.