Monster Meatballs Stuffed with Bocconcini
Homemade spaghetti and meatballs on the table in less than 30 minutes?
You bet! By using sausage meat for the meatballs, most of the prep is done for you. And, thanks to this simple recipe from America's Test Kitchen, the rich tomato sauce is ready in only 10 minutes. Prepare the sauce while the meatballs are in the oven and before you know it, dinner is ready.
- 500 grams Hot Italian sausages
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 finely grated Parmagiano Reggiano
- 1 large egg
- 8 Bocconcini balls
- Small bunch fresh basil
- 400 grams dried spaghetti noodles (approximately)
- 10 minute Tomato Sauce
Set a pot big of generously salted water over high heat to come to a rolling boil, and preheat the oven to 450F.
Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs.
Remove the sausage meat from the casings by slicing down the length of the sausage and peeling off of the casing. Combine the sausage meat with the bread crumbs, grated Parmagiano, and egg in a small bowl. I find it easiest to just use my hands for this job, but a big spoon would work too.
Divide the mixture into 8 equally sized portions, then flatten each portion into a small patty.
Wrap a bocconcini ball in 1-2 basil leaves and place in the middle of one of the sausage meat patties, use your hands to wrap the meat around the cheese and form a giant meatball. Repeat the process with the remaining portions of sausage meat. The basil will prevent the cheese from oozing out of the meatball during the cooking process, as well as add delicious fresh basil flavour. You could substitute baby spinach leaves if you don't have any fresh basil on hand.
Bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for 8-10 minutes at 450F.
While the meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce and cook the pasta.
Drain the noodles and toss the pasta in a large bowl with a couple of ladles of tomato sauce. Top each serving of pasta with two giant meatballs, some additional sauce and garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.
Serve with grated Parmagiano, dried chilies, and a nice glass of Chianti.