Easy Meatballs for the “Cooking Newbie”

As a college student cooped up in your dorm or house with the freezing temperatures, it can sometimes leave you with no will power to cook and you just may resort to ordering out.

If this sounds like you,  I have delicious meal that will warm up your stomach and go easy on your budget — meatballs — an American Italian dish that you can eat alone, on a sub or with spaghetti. This simple, cheesy meatball recipe can be made in one skillet on the stovetop.

Don’t worry if creating meatballs from scratch sounds intimidating; you’ll be a pro in no time!

Fun Fact: According to the Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy, “The origin of spaghetti and meatballs started with Italian immigrants coming to America in 1880 to 1920. The majority of immigrants were extremely impoverished, and had been spending 75 percent of their income on food in Italy, compared to only 25 percent in the U.S. Meat quickly became a staple, and families were putting meatballs more frequently on the table.”

This was my first time making my own meatballs, and it was super easy.

I first minced the tablespoon of garlic cloves and beat the egg into a bowl. I then combined ½ cup Parmesan cheese, ½ cup Italian bread crumbs, 1 lb. of ground beef and salt and pepper to taste. Unlike my recipe below, I didn’t add Worcestershire sauce, because I honestly got tired of looking through all the aisles of food at Wal-Mart for it. I mixed those ingredients with my hands and rolled about 9 golf-ball sized balls onto the skillet.

I didn’t think of putting oil in the skillet before I started cooking the meatballs… that was a BIG mistake! Some of the meatballs would stick to the pan and start to burn.

FYI: add oil before you start cooking the meatballs on the skillet.

Once that little kitchen nightmare passed, I fully cooked the meatballs which tok about 10 minutes and transferred the meatballs to a paper towel, to let them sit.

I poured in the marinara sauce into the skillet. Once I heated up the marinara sauce, I added the meatballs and let them roll around in the the sauce. I let them simmer for five minutes or so.

Finally, I topped them with mozzarella cheese and sprinkled freshly chopped basil to finish it off. Aside from the mini heart attack caused by my mistake, the meatball meal came out yummy and full of cheesy goodness.

 

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The recipe: 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup Italian bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

 

1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1.  Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and garlic in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  2. Scoop out about 1 golf ball sized meatball mixture, roll it in your hands and form a ball. An ice cream scoop is a handy way to ensure all meatballs are the same size.
  3. Add a layer of oil to the skillet and put on medium-high heat. Add meatballs one by one until you have an even layer.
  4. Brown the meatballs in batches until evenly browned. Be careful not to move them around too often.
  5. Remove meatballs and drain on paper towels. Drain any excess oil from the skillet.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low and pour your marinara sauce in the skillet.
  7. Add the meatballs back to the skillet, and roll them in the marinara sauce. Allow them to simmer for 5 minutes or until internal temperature of meatballs are 165 degrees F.
  8. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and simmer until cheese melts or broil at 450 degrees F for 3 – 5 minutes for browned cheese.
  9. Serve meatballs, and top with freshly cut basil. Enjoy!