Recipe for: Spicy Meatballs
|For the meatballs:|
|1 lb||ground beef|
|1 lb||ground pork|
|½ cup||plain breadcrumbs|
|½ cup||red onion, diced|
|3||garlic cloves, minced|
|⅓ cup||sun-dried tomatoes, diced|
|1 9-oz. box||frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry|
|½ cup||crumbled feta|
|1 tsp||black pepper|
|1 tsp||granulated garlic|
|1 tsp||granulated onion|
|1 tsp||cayenne pepper|
|2 Tbsp||fresh mint, chopped|
|2 Tbsp||fresh parsley, chopped|
|2 Tbsp||fresh oregano, chopped|
|3 Tbsp||olive oil|
|For the sauce:|
|1 Tbsp||olive oil|
|1||small yellow onion, diced|
|2||garlic clvoes, minced|
|1||small jalapeño, seeded and diced|
|1 28-oz. can||crushed tomatoes|
|1 14-oz. can||fire-roasted diced tomatoes|
|1 tsp||black pepper|
|½ tsp||dried oregano|
|½ to 1 tsp||crushed dried chili flakes|
|¼ cup||mozzarella, shredded|
|¼ cup||feta, crumbled|
|fresh basil leaves, for garnish|
|French baguette, sliced and grilled or tosted|
1. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Mix with your hands until evenly combined and well-incorporated. Shape into balls (about size of golf ball), and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
2. Set large skillet over medium-high heat with three tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, brown meatballs in batches for three to four minutes per side. (You’re not cooking them all the way through here. Just brown them, and get a good sear.) Transfer to plate or platter, and continue browning the rest. Set aside.
3. Either in same skillet or clean cast-iron skillet, heat another tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add onions, garlic, and jalapeño; cook until soft and translucent (about five minutes). Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes; season with salt, pepper, oregano, and crushed chili flakes. Lower flame; cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half.
4. Nestle meatballs into sauce, making sure to fit them into pan in single layer. Top with shredded cheese, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with feta, and garnish with basil. Serve warm with grilled bread slices. Enjoy!
About The Chef
Jonathan Melendez is a passionate food photographer, cook, baker, and recipe developer whose blog, The Candid Appetite, has appeared on such sites as Bon Appetit, People, Cosmopolitan, The Kitchn, and Today. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.