Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 1/4 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
- 3 sticks mozzarella string cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Combine panko, 1/2 cup Parmesan, eggs, 2 Tbsp basil, half of garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in large bowl.
- Add sausage and knead with your hands until incorporated into panko mixture.
- Add beef and knead until just incorporated.
- Using greased 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, divide meat mixture into 15 portions and place on plate.
- Cut mozzarella sticks crosswise into fifteen 3/4-inch cubes.
- Place 1 mozzarella cube in center of each meat portion and pinch meat around cheese to enclose.
- Roll meat between wet hands to form completely sealed meatball.
- Place stuffed meatballs on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
- Add meatballs and cook until browned on 1 side.
- Flip meatballs and cook until browned on opposite side.
- Brown on other sides.
- Transfer meatballs to plate.
- Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium heat.
- Add onion and cook until just softened and beginning to brown.
- Add oregano and remaining garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Nestle meatballs in sauce with 1 browned side up and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Flip meatballs so second browned side is up.
- Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve.