We love pasta at Casa de Jax and I make a pretty killer simple tomato sauce and my meatballs aren’t bad either. I haven’t made either in quite some time and while I was thinking of Jax-friendly meals I thought about them.
My tootsie-girl loves noodles and I knew she would love my meatballs too. So I got started whipping up dinner.
I was right – she ate two meatballs and loved her spaghetti so much she dumped it on her head! Crazy girl.
Spaghetti and meatballs will be a staple in our home again. The recipes for my sauce and my meatballs are below. I hope you will give them a try. Mmmmm!
Be careful to seal up that cheese within the meatball. I got lazy and careless and some of the cheese oozed out of my meatballs into the sauce. It was still delicious, but you do want that melty, cheesy, yummy center.
Ingredients for the marinara sauce. Let’s see how long I can keep that basil plant alive! I’ll let you know.
I like to use whole, peeled canned tomatoes and liquefy with my immersion blender, then add a can of diced tomatoes for a nice chunky texture. The meatballs will add even more chunkage so you don’t want a sauce full of tomato chunks.
Be sure all the meatballs are completely submerged in the sauce so they cook evenly. Turn the heat on low. You really can’t stir after they are in because you will break them apart and the pot will be pretty crowded. So keep the heat on low to prevent burning.
Spaghetti with Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Ingredients for Meatballs:
- 3/4 pound of ground beef
- 3/4 pound Italian sausage (I usually use hot but since Jax was partaking I switched to sweet – both work great)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (I usually use Italian bread crumbs but only had panko so used those instead)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 large yellow onion – I like to grate it instead of chopping
- 1/2 brick of mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper taste
- Remove sausage from casings and add to bowl
- Add all other ingredients, except mozzarella, together in the bowl
- Mix together with your hands, ensuring that beef and sausage blend together
- If meat mixture is too wet or sticky from the egg you can add more bread crumbs
- Once meat is well mixed start forming the meatballs, about 2 inches
- Press a whole into the center of the meatball, creating a crater
- Push a cube of mozzarella into the crater and seal back up with the meat
- Lay stuffed, raw meatballs on a sheet tray until ready to cook in the sauce
Ingredients for Tomato Sauce:
- 2 – 28 ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary – you can either tie the rosemary sprigs into a bunch and fish out later or remove the leaves from the sprigs
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, grated or chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Meatballs, raw – from recipe above
- In large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat
- Add onions and garlic, stirring until onions become translucent, do not let the garlic or onion brown
- Add the 2 cans of whole, peeled tomatoes and puree with an immersion blender
- Add the diced tomatoes and bring to simmer
- Add the herbs and bring to a low bubble
- Turn heat to low and add the raw meatballs
- Cover and cook for about 45 minutes
- The meatballs will be cooked through but you can test them by cutting one open and checking the color. A cooked meatball is firm with no pink
- Serve over spaghetti or in crusty rolls for a fantastic meatball sandwich