30 Minute (Delicious!) Italian Meatballs

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photo: courtesy of recipeinnovations.com

While I am not of Italian descent, my sweet, 100% Italian mother-in-law gave me her recipe for homemade meatballs, passed down from her mother, and her mother’s mother, who were all from Ancona, Italy, on the Adriatic Sea.

Her recipe requires overnight preparation and at least an hour of cooking, since simmering the meatballs in a pot of homemade sauce is the final step. However, although her recipe is of course much more authentic and to the trained palate undoubtedly tastes superior, it nevertheless serves as the basis for my “quick”, a bit healthier, and almost-as-tasty version.

The ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (or you can use ground turkey)

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 whole egg

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. salt and pepper

1 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder

1 tsp. dried basil (or 6 leaves fresh, chopped fine)image

 

Begin by putting the ground beef in a medium-sized bowl.

imageAdd all of the other ingredients and mix. I suggest hand mixing, since it blends everything more fully, but be sure to remove any rings first! 🙂

 

For health reasons, I like to bake, rather than pan-fry my meatballs, so I pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a pan (mine is round), lining it with foil and sometimes giving it a spritz of non-stick cooking spray for easy clean up.

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Roll the meatballs out to your preferred size (keep in mind: the bigger the meatball, the longer the cooking time). I like mine this size.

A lb. of ground beef makes 10-12 meatballs, in the size I like.

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After they’re on the pan and the oven is hot, put them in and bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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They come out nicely browned and ready to pop into sauce, use in a meatball sub, or just eat plain. 🙂

It’s so easy that there’s no reason not to be able to have homemade meatballs even on a busy weeknight after a day of work.

Mangia! And happy eating.

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