Meatballs are all the rage! Here is one of my fun recipes you can make at home. Sunday Italian Meatballs- in a Spicy Red Sauce with Basil and Burrata!

Burrata  [boor-RAH-tuh] The name ‘burrata’ means ‘buttered’ in Italian. A delicious, rich, glossy-white, unripened cheese made by combining mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella – while the inside contains  creamy texture! 

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef or veal

2 large eggs 

1/2- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or GF

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and rough chopped

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves 

3 cloves garlic,  peeled and cleaned

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 

For the sauce:

6-8 cups tomato sauce or your favorite pasta sauce

1/2 cup good quality beef stock 

1 cup bold red wine 

4-5 large basil leaves, chopped

1 Tablespoon ( heaping) dried Italian seasoning  

1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

6-8 ounces of fresh Burrata cheese, cut into large thin pieces

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

To make the meatballs : 

Preheat oven to 400’ F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a food processor add the carrot, onion, parsley, garlic and basil. Pulse until completely processed into a fine mince. Add to the meat mixture and combine everything and distribute vegetable and spices well throughout the meat mixture 

Using your hands, portion  with a small potion controller ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, roll into 4 dozen- 1 inch, balls. Or 2 dozen- 2 inch, balls. 

Place meatballs on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Heat a large  high-sided skillet on medium-low and add butter and olive oil. Heat until butter is melted. Add onions and sauté until translucent, add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes add garlic, and cook an additional one minute. Add tomato sauce, stock, wine and Italian seasoning. Allow sauce to cook mushrooms through and thicken about 30 -45 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Once meatballs are out of the oven, gently add them to the sauce; spoon the tomato sauce generously over the meatballs. Place the Buratta randomly in the tomato sauce and over the meatballs. Cover and continue cooking on medium-low for 5 more minutes or until the cheese has melted into the sauce. 

Add chopped basil and chopped fresh parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve meatballs over ancient grain, pasta or spaghetti squash.



Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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