Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Best meatballs ever

There are 2 things in life that, if nothing else, I want to be remembered for when I die, and which I have been striving to perfect since getting married: my dynamite cinnamon roll making, and (as of the past year or so) my perfect meatballs. Perhaps it is because I grew up in the Ohio Valley, where declining to eat an old lady's homemade meatballs is akin to cutting off her pinky toes or sacrificing her firstborn (ahem, Grandma Homol), or maybe it is because I don't have any teeth but sweet ones and could sit and feast on pans of cinnamon rolls all day every day if you let me. I say it is a combination of both.

Either way, both of these things have become part of my life's passion and tonight, folks-- well tonight I really made some headway in the meatball department. This recipe, by none other than the Pioneer woman, has been my starting point with the cinnamon rolls, and so far I am sticking with it, but it wasn't until a little epiphany that I had pre-dinner tonight that I really figured out the right direction to go with my meatballs.

You didn't think anyone could care this much about meatballs, did you? I just blew your mind.

I was all set to make my standard meatball concoction combining the usual ingredients: bread crumbs, egg, brown sugar, other stuff, when it hit me: RICOTTA CHEESE. I had half of a container left in my fridge and realized I needed to google this immediately to see if anyone had ever thought if it before. Of course they had. I used THIS recipe to get me started and then I ran free like a naked baby outdoors.

Here's the recipe I ended up with when it was all said and done (why I am telling you my recipe I don't know since now it will never be my secret meatball recipe, but I when I am 80 I am sure I will not care, or even remember that I kept this silly blog. Plus I like you):

  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 (28-oz) jar prepared marinara sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar  
Combine all the ingredients from garlic to breadcrumbs, mash them around with your hands, roll them into balls, put them on a greesed up pan and bake them for 15 minutes @ 350.

Put them on the stove in a pot, pour the marinara sauce over them combining with the rest of the brown sugar and let them simmer in the sauce for 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Serve with pasta of your choice.

I think my favorite part of all of this is the brown sugar- it really does wonders. That and the ricotta cheese- it pretty much knocked me on my bum.



  1. Oh Ana, if I could only TELL you how many times I've tried to find a way to make good meatballs. These look amazing...and I will have to try soon. I'll let you know how it goes ;)

  2. Looks delish. Already copied into my recipe file. And those cinnamon rolls (thanks, Grace) are TO DIE for. I've already made them twice. My people are in love with them. And me when I make them.

  3. Brown sugar? I'm intrigued. Never would have thought of that, but I'm thinking I'll have to try these soon.

  4. I"m not sure how I missed this post, but thanks. My meatballs were always meah! I can't wait to try them.
    I'll save them as your secret recipe.

  5. I made these last night, I didn't have any ricotta though so I substitued cream cheese and some blue cheese. Oh, my, goodness! Fantastic, thank you! My husband LOVED it.

  6. Hi Ana! I love reading your blog... always makes me laugh! I am currently making these meatballs and they smell delicious! Can't wait to eat them!

  7. Just wanted to drop by and say I'm making your meatballs tonight! And I'm stoked!