Meatballs

Ever since Lady and the Tramp I’ve always wanted to like meatballs.

ladyandthetrampI tried and tried, but the meatballs I tasted were generally bland and had an off-putting texture. The sauce (and the image of Lady and the Tramp) were the only saving grace for me. That was until my friend Erin introduced me to The Meatball Shop. Erin lives on the Lower East Side in New York and The Meatball Shop is within walking distance of her apartment…lucky. You know there are lots of Lady and the Tramp moments happening there!

meatball-shopTheir meatballs are so creative and SO delicious! You can have them made with nearly any type of meat (or veggie) you prefer, any type of sauce you can think of, and served on top of just about anything you could want – in a bun, on veggies, over pasta, or potatoes.

After this trip, I decided to give meatballs another chance.

I’d worked my way through several different recipes with different types of meat, and had all but given up…until I came across the theslowroasteditalian.com 

Now you all know I’ve got more elk than I know what to do with this year. So as of late, I’ve been making elk meatballs! This is my favorite version yet! Of course you can substitute beef. I’m sure turkey or chicken would be delicious as well, but I haven’t tried it – so don’t hold me to it!

Here’s what you need:

Italian Herb Baked Meatballs from The Slow Roasted Italian

makes 15 (2 tablespoon) meatballs

1 pound lean ground elk or beef
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, pressed (or minced)
½ small onion, grated (or minced)
2 tablespoons marinara sauce
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375°.  Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well, do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs.

Notes:

  1. I like to grate my onion and garlic in a food processor, because my picky eater will pull out any “chunks” he finds… diva. 
  2. I’ve also used freeze dried herbs in the recipe (they can be found in the produce section) and the result was still delicious!
  3. Feel free to make your own bread crumbs or add oats to a food processor for a gluten free version. If making your own, add a little salt and italian seasoning to spice ’em up a bit. 

Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, (I use an ice cream scoop) portion out meat and place on baking sheet.  After all meatballs have been scooped onto tray, roll into balls.

IMG_5215COOK’S NOTE:  If you lightly wet your hands the meatballs will form better and crack less.

Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Remove and transfer to sauce or serve immediately.

Serve your meatballs over pasta, veggies, quinoa, in a hoagie, or my favorite way – in a halved spaghetti squash! Check out my post about spaghetti squash here.

IMG_5223I’m going to try to talk The Carnivore into sharing a plate of spaghetti with me tonight, I’ll let you know how it goes…


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