A classic Italian dish coming at you today featuring lean, mean homemade meatballs. Traditional recipes often call for high-fat ingredients such as 85% ground beef, sausage and excessive amounts of cheese. My version is lightened-up because I use lean ground beef, a small amount of cheese and herbs to heighten the flavor. I also sneak in vegetables which not only increase the nutritional value of the dish, but also keep the meatballs moist and prevents them from drying out.
Homemade meatballs may seem like a daunting, complicated dish to make, but these are anything but that. Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl mix, roll into balls, cook and serve. Simple as that. This recipe is also freezer friendly. I oftentimes freeze half the batch to use at a later date when I don’t have time to cook a full meal or need something quick. If you do freeze them, freeze them in their raw form then thaw and cook them when you’re ready to eat them.
1 lb. lean ground beef (I recommend 92-95%)
2 pieces of bread, toasted
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
½ C carrots, grated
½ onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbs. Italian seasoning (or 1/2 tsp. each dried basil, thyme and oregano)
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp. salt
Ground black pepper
1 Tbs. Olive oil
Add toasted bread to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Combine bread crumbs and all ingredients in a medium-large bowl and mix well to incorporate. Form into evenly-sized balls and set aside.
Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Coat with olive oil and then add meatballs. Cook, flipping occasionally until cooked through (about 6-10 minutes). Place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve on top of spaghetti and topped with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.