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Author Notes: I just moved in and haven't fully stocked my kitchen yet, so I was looking for something to make for dinner without a lot of ingredients. I combined a Food Network recipe from Anthony Sedlak and littleclove's fried meatballs recipe, and made a few changes. The two recipes have a few of the same ingredients. I also adjusted the size so it serves 2-3 people. —AbbyJaneway
- 12 ounces soy ground beef (or 1 lb ground meat of your choosing)
- 2/3 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 slices Italian bread, torn into small pieces
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, Romano, & Asiago cheese blend
- 2 eggs (just 1 if using real meat)
- 1 or 2 grinds of freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the pasta & sauce
- 250 g rotini pasta
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves (or 4-5 leaves of fresh basil)
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup grated cheese blend
- Put meat in a medium-sized bowl and add the Kosher salt. Using your hands, gently combine the meat and salt. Add the bread, parsley, garlic, grated cheese, eggs, and pepper. Combine gently by hand until evenly mixed and sticky enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Form golf-ball sized meatballs and add to oil. Let the meatballs sit until they are brown on one side, then gently flip.
- Remove meatballs from heat and scoop into a 1.5-quart baking dish. Cover and set aside.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on package. Remove pasta from heat when slightly undercooked. Drain and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat (I used the same pan I cooked the meatballs in). Add garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the basil and pepper and fry for about another minute.
- Add tomatoes and cook 10-15 minutes, occasionally crushing the tomatoes, until they start to emulsify and form a sauce with the oil. Add a pinch of salt near the end of the cooking time.
- Add sauce to pasta in pot. Add cheese and stir until evenly mixed.
- Pour pasta & sauce over meatballs in baking dish and smooth so top is relatively flat.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The top should be somewhat golden & crusty. Sprinkle with basil & grated cheese and serve.