This freezer-friendly meatball recipe makes Italian night a breeze. You can make the meatballs just before using, or make them in a large batch and freeze them for later. These delicately-spiced meatballs get their bold flavor from Italian seasoning, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese.
Real Simple DECEMBER 2004
Preheat oven to 400° F.
In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients, 1 cup of the Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons of the pepper. Mix just to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 to 18 large meatballs (each should be about ¾ cup of meat). Place on a baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with the remaining Parmesan and the remaining pepper; set aside.
Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes in upper third of oven. Remove from oven and turn on broiler. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto each meatball. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until the ricotta just starts to brown. Serve the meatballs with jarred marinara sauce.
To Freeze: Omit the ricotta mixture. Place the baked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and return to the freezer. Store for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Thaw the meatballs overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Place them in a baking dish, cover with foil, and heat in a 350° F oven for 20 minutes. Top with the ricotta mixture and broil as described above. Serve on top of the warmed pasta sauce.
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