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.
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.
Turn these meatballs into an appetizer … Arrange 1/2-inch thick slices of fresh mozzarella (little ones) on a plate and top with a slice of plum 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.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.