As I flipped through Giada De Laurentiis’s most recent cookbook, Giada At Home, this recipe immediately caught my attention. I love smoked mozzarella, so smoked mozzarella stuffed meatballs sounded incredible to me. Giada’s recipe calls for a mixture of ground beef and veal, but the store did not have veal, so I substituted it with turkey. Make sure that you buy meat with enough fat in it or you will have dry meatballs. The only other change I made to the recipe was to substitute the ketchup with tomato paste. If you watched the episode, Giada explains that using ketchup in meatballs is not custom in Italian Cooking, but she likes to use it anyway. I wasn’t really crazy about the idea of using ketchup in the meatballs, so I used tomato paste instead. Overall, my family and I loved this recipe. They were very flavorful and moist. I absolutely loved the unique flavor of the smoked mozzarella. Also, the red pepper flakes gave these meatballs the perfect amount of spiciness. There is not a single thing I’d change about this recipe. My dad, who is very critical, loved them. I will certainly be making these again and again. Thank you Giada for such a wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to make more from her cookbook! If you’re going to make these, you might find it helpful to watch Giada make them!
Spicy Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs(makes 14-16 meatballs)
- 1 small onion, grated (on box grater)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup italian-style bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons of ketchup (I used Tomato Paste)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces ground veal (I used ground Turkey)
- 2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 14-16 (1/2-inch) cubes
- Position an oven rack in lower 1/3 of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the onion, parsley, parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup/tomato paste, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix ingredients.
- Add both meats to the bowl. Using your hands, combine all ingredients gently but thoroughly. You do not want to over-mix or your meatballs will be tough.
- Shape the meat mixture into 14-16 (1 1/2-inch-diameter) meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Make an indention in each meatball and place a cube of mozzarella inside. Reform the meatball so that the mozzarella is completely covered with the meat mixture.
- Bake the meatballs for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Cook time may vary depending on the size of your meatballs.
Question: Do you have a favorite recipe for meatballs? What type of meat do you typically use in your meatballs?
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