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.
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 pounds ground pork
1 medium onion, minced
2 slices soft bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups ricotta
How to Make It
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.
Kind of bland. This tastes like every generic meatloaf I've ever had. I'm not sure what's supposed to be spicy about it -- it's not. Unless you really LOVE ricotta, leave it off -- it detracts from the mild flavor of the meatballs.