February 4, 2006 | Episode 5

Big Spicy Meatballs
Big on flavor, short on time
Real Simple Television Productions Inc.


Big Spicy Meatballs

  • Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Makes 30 meatballs
  • For the meatballs:
  • 4 pounds lean ground beef
    1 medium onion, minced
    2 slices soft bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    2 eggs
    1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1⁄4 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 cup grated Parmesan
    2 teaspoons black pepper

  • For the topping (optional):
    1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 1⁄2 cups ricotta (from a 15-ounce container)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion, bread, garlic, eggs, parsley, oil, Italian seasoning, salt, 1 cup of the Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons of the pepper. Shape the mixture into 30 meatballs. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the meatballs close together on the rack. Bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package directions.  Warm the marinara sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove the meatballs from the oven. If desired, combine the ricotta and remaining Parmesan and pepper.

Spoon a few teaspoons of the ricotta mixture onto each meatball. Broil 3 to 5 minutes, until the ricotta just starts to brown. Divide the spaghetti, sauce, and meatballs among individual plates.

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