Who doesn’t just love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s such a comforting family favorite that’s so easy to make. A few years ago, I got the idea to make my meatballs even better, by stuffing them with mozzarella. I was watching Tyler’s Ultimate on the Food Network and saw the episode about Ultimate Spaghetti and Meatballs, where he stuffed his meatballs with mozzarella. I instantly knew that this would be our new favorite way to make meatballs.
The cheese may ooze out of a few of the meatballs. It always does with mine, but it seems to make the sauce just that much better. For the sauce, I add my favorite vegetables for spaghetti sauce: mushrooms, onions and green peppers. I also add red wine or vodka to all my red sauces. If, for some reason, I am out of both of these, a little beer gets poured into the sauce. Alcohol releases another flavor in the tomatoes that will make your sauce really tasty. Alternatively, you can use any jarred pre-made sauce to make this recipe faster. But if you’ve never made a homemade sauce with San Marzano tomatoes like my recipe, you have to try one soon. The difference in good canned San Marzano tomatoes will make such a difference in your sauce, you won’t believe it.
Spaghetti with Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs Recipe
1 lb lean ground beef
12 oz sweet Italian ground sausage (or spicy if you prefer)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 onion, chopped fine
1/2 lb mozzarella, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 – 28 oz cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 – 8 oz package baby bella or other mushroom, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian blend seasoning (oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, and sage) – OR – about 1/2 cup fresh torn basil and 2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup good red wine (optional)
1 lb spaghetti
1. Preheat a large pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Add mushrooms, onions and bell peppers for the sauce. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Add salt and garlic. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes and add crushed tomatoes. Add dried herbs, if using, and season with salt to taste. Add wine if using. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
2. Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl. Combine well with a fork, or like I do, with my hands. Take each mozzarella cube and form a meatball around it.
When you have all the meatballs formed, preheat a large skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Cook meatballs over medium heat until browned on all sides.
3. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. With sauce at a simmer, as meatballs finish cooking, drop them in the sauce. Let simmer 5 – 10 minutes and serve. If using fresh herbs, add them now, and wilt in before serving.