Baked Meatball Parmesan with Pasta
Complete your meal with a fresh salad blend, breadsticks, and cannoli cake for dessert.
A lot of people make their meatballs with three different kinds of meat: beef, pork, and veal. This version only uses ground chuck mixed with ricotta to help keep them moist and light.
1/4 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 (0.75-oz) package fresh basil, finely chopped and divided
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz spaghetti pasta
1 (24-oz) jar marinara pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Combine in a large bowl: beef, ricotta, 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, 1/4 cup basil, garlic, salt, and red pepper; mix until blended. Coat 13-x 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Roll beef mixture into 2-inch meatballs (about 18); place meatballs into snug rows in dish, then bake 10 minutes or until browned.
2. Cook pasta following package instructions. Drain any fat from baking dish, then pour pasta sauce over meatballs; bake 10–12 more minutes until firm and 160°F.
3. Combine mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Top meatballs with cheese mixture; bake 5–6 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve meatballs with sauce over pasta. Top with remaining basil and additional parmesan cheese, if desired.