I really wanted to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. But I ended up making only the meatballs. I asked Jon if he wanted spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and he said, “No, just meat sauce would be good.” Seriously? You don’t want to bite into a juicy, hot, delicious meatball? And no, he didn’t. His loss. :)

So I reserved some of the ground beef to make a small batch of meatballs. They were delicious!

Because these are baked, you can make them as an appetizer, main dish, side dish, or topping on a pasta. I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs. But if you use plain bread crumbs, you can use a variety of sauces to really change the dish each time, but with the same basic meatball recipe. And they were so easy!


Serves 3-4 (If serving with pasta)
makes about 15 medium sized meatballs

Ingredients
1/2 lb lean ground beef (I used 15% fat, and they were deliciously greasy!)
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated romano cheese (or parmesan)
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash all ingredients in a bowl using a fork or your hands. Don’t over mix, mix just until incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll mixture into 1 inch size balls. Place on the baking sheet (They can be close together. They aren’t like cookies, they won’t rise and stick together)

Bake for about 30 minutes. until the outside has turned brown in color and almost has a golden ‘crust.’

After these cook, you can add them to your cooked pasta sauce and then pour that over the pasta. Or you can just throw them on top of your pasta and sauce.

Alternative serving options, using the same meatball recipe:

Appetizer (use a toothpick to eat them)
Mixed with maple bbq sauce. (Sub cilantro instead of basil)
Served with a Marinara Dipping Sauce
Served with a tzatziki dipping sauce (Sub parsley and oregano instead of basil)

Main Dish
In teriyaki over rice with pineapple and bell pepper(Sub cilantro instead of basil)
In an alfredo sauce over fettuccine with broccoli
In a brown gravy over mashed potatoes with spinach
Sub Sandwich -on a french roll with marinara, meatballs and parmesan cheese