Monday, April 2, 2012

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

So you'd never guess from my last name, but I'm actually Italian from my mom's side. My mom has some dishes that she just has cornered in our of those being meatballs. My family has a tradition of making meatballs the size of a small baby. Ok maybe not THAT large, but a good fist size meatball, and I'm talking a man's fist, not a woman's. Basically, we make some mega meatballs.

My mom is the resident meatball pro and I have her recipe, but why mess with the best? Instead, I decided to try a different meatball, to give our family a bit of variety without needing to compare my mother's meatballs to mine--I mean, seriously, can you imagine the split that would cause? I don't even want to think about it...

So while my mother makes a standard Italian beef meatball, I decided to change it up by making my meatball with beef, pork and veal... oh, and stuff a little nugget of mozzarella goodness in the middle. Oh. yeah. 

The result was delicious. An updated version of the classic meatball. The only problem was in my first couple of meatballs, I did not put enough bread crumbs in them for when the mozzarella started melting, so make sure you add a bit more than you normally would to help hold the ball together. Besides that, these are as easy as your traditional meatball but would be perfect for a dinner party where you want to impress someone. And my mother added the suggestion of making smaller meatballs for a cocktail party with a tinier piece of mozzarella on the inside. No one would guess how easy these are to make!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball
Downloadable pdf here


1 lb. ground beef/pork/veal mixture
2 eggs (if you're making more than 1 lb, keep this ratio)
Bread crumbs
Grated parmesan
3 cloves garlic, minced
Dried Italian seasonings: basil, parsley, oregano, etc.
Dried chopped onions
1 package of bocconcini mozzarella

1 container Pomi chopped tomatoes
2 container Pomi strained tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
Fresh basil
Fresh parsley


1. Combine meatball ingredients, except mozzarella in large bowl. Using hands, mix together (yep, you're getting egg all over you, but just like meatballs are oldschool, so are your mixing techniques--no stand mixers!) The texture, if you have the correct amount of breadcrumbs and parmesan, should be a little sticky to your hands, but not feel wet.

2. Depending on how large you want your meatballs to be, take a small handful of the meat mixture and hold in your palm. Place a mozzarella ball in the center and wrap the rest of the meat around, taking a bit more if need be. Continue making meatballs until you are out of meat.  My pound of meat made 12 meatballs.

3. Heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a large pan. Make sure the oil is hot before placing meatballs in it. Fry in batches and keep the balls separate in the pan so that they fry rather than steam. Once one side is fried, roll over to another. Don't worry about making sure the meatballs are cooked all the way through; first, there's a ball of mozzarella in the middle! and second, you finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce.

4. Start your sauce. Mince your vegetables and place in a pasta pot with heated olive oil. Saute down. 

5. Once the veggies are translucent (except the carrots of course), add the three containers of Pomi and mix. Add the meatballs, carefully!! This is one of the points where the meatballs can break. Add the chopped herbs and mix. Cook down for about 30 minutes. 

You'll know they're done because your entire floor (in my case), or your house (for those real people who have a house) will smell delicious.

You can serve these as a sub, over pasta or with my next post, spaghetti pie! The first day I made these I ate just the meatballs with veggies on the side, but my dad is a HUGEEEE meatball fan so I brought the leftovers (10 meatballs) home and my mother and I made spaghetti pie to serve with these little nuggets of goodness. Enjoy!

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