Simple, tender, flavorful – and best of all, you just roll them and stick them in the oven for a nice even cook! No trying to get an even sear or draining the juice to worry about. And the whole family loves ’em!
I went through a long run of not serving pasta and rarely serving bread, but when quarantine came around, the carbs came out. There’s something about a nice chunk of crusty bread and fresh pasta that just makes you feel comforted from the inside out, you know? And with all the chaos happening in the world right now, no one is going to begrudge anyone a little comfort.
So, the pasta has actually been making me feel pretty good, healthwise. I don’t think it’s the carbs by themselves, but I think they have helped me ramp up my energy levels for all the running and bike riding I’ve been doing. Which is a lot. It’s amazing how much more exercise you can pack in when you’ve gotten two hours back every day that you used to use for commuting.
But just because I’m serving more pasta doesn’t mean we’re not still trying to be smart with it. Mine always comes with a salad, I usually sneak in some veggies, and I love chopping or crushing fresh herbs over the top of the dish! And I’m trying to put good ingredients into it.
Take these baked meatballs. They’re an absolute family favorite, made from fresh ingredients and panko crumbs and baked instead of pan-fried. The best part is that they come together and can be brought to the table in under 30 minutes.
I found the key to getting a delicious and rich meatball that isn’t greasy is using lean meat, plenty of Panko, and elevating them on the baking sheet with a baking rack. That way, everything drains off nicely and you’re not stuck with extra oil and grease in the mix – just flavor! Really awesome flavor!
You can serve these up a number of different ways, but my personal favorite is on top of old school spaghetti, made fresh and seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and a hearty spoonful of marinara sauce with fresh chopped campari tomatoes, with plenty of fresh grated Parmesan on top for flavor. And some finely chopped parsley, just because we can.
Sound delicious, and maybe a little bit decadent? Sure.
But. Worth. It.
So let’s relax the pasta rules a little bit and enjoy a bowl of comfort food. Think of it like a hug for your insides.
[lt_recipe name=”Easy Baked Meatballs” summary=”Simple, tender, flavorful – and best of all, you just roll them and stick them in the oven for a nice even cook! No trying to get an even sear or draining the juice to worry about. And the whole family loves ’em!” servings=”4″ total_time=”25M” print=”yes” image=”https://homefrontcooking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Baked-Meatballs-0873-1024×683.jpg” ingredients=”1 lb lean ground beef;1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped;1/4 cup panko crumbs;2 cloves garlic, minced;1 egg;1/4 cup mozzarella cheese;1 tsp salt;1/4 tsp pepper;1 tbsp parsley, finely diced” ]Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Spray with cooking spray if desired.;In a large bowl, mix together the diced onion, bread crumbs, garlic, egg, cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley.;Add the ground beef and mix until combined.;Form into golfball sized balls and place onto the prepared baking rack on top of the cookie sheet. You should get about 12 (you may need to bake a second batch depending on desired spacing).;Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned and cooked all the way through (ground beef is considered done at 160F).;Serve and enjoy!;[/lt_recipe]
Easily my favorite dinnertime treat ever.
And because we have another little diner at the table, we like making meals that he can enjoy with us. No one likes to make a bunch of separate meals. Fortunately, all we really have to do is slice the spaghetti into much shorter strings and chop the meatballs and our little guy is set to enjoy.
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