Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs Marinara

Marinara Sauce

  • 30 ounces tomato sauce
  • 30 ounces stewed or diced tomatoes in Italian seasoning
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil

In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients except the basil.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer, covered, for at least one hour; taste and adjust seasoning as needing.  Before serving, stir in freshly chopped basil.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey and Pork Meatballs

  • 1 pound Italian-seasoned ground turkey (93/7)
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 ounces fresh mozzarella balls (about 20 balls, weighing .2 ounces each / measuring 3/4 inch in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups Marinara Sauce (above)

In a large bowl, use your hands to combine all ingredients, except the mozzarella balls, olive oil and marinara sauce.  Weigh the meatball mixture out into 2-ounce portions, which will yield about 20 meatballs.  Take a portion of the meat, flatten it in your hand, place a mozzarella ball in the middle, then shape the meatball around the mozzarella.  Repeat with remaining meat and mozzarella.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray; set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick cast iron skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot enough to sizzle, add the meatballs, working in batches.  Sear the meatballs for 2-3 minutes on each side, for a nicely browned-crust.  Transfer to the baking dish; repeat with remaining meatballs.

Pour 4 cups of the marinara sauce (reserve the rest to toss with the spaghetti) over the meatballs in the baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook one pound of spaghetti according to the instructions on the box.  Toss the cooked spaghetti with the remainder of the marinara sauce.  Serve the spaghetti with the meatballs, spooning the extra sauce from the baking dish over the meatballs.  Top with more grated Parmesan and freshly chopped basil.

Yields enough pasta, sauce and meatballs for about 6-8 servings (2-3 meatballs per person)

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen