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A touch of cinnamon distinguishes these delicious tomato-sauced meatballs. Adding whole-grain bulgur allows you to use less meat, resulting in meatballs with less than half the total fat and saturated fat of the original. Plus a vibrant-tasting combination of fresh and canned tomatoes in the sauce helps reduce the sodium by two-thirds. Serve with pasta, polenta or even on a whole-grain roll with a bit of melted part-skim mozzarella for a meatball sub.

Patsy Jamieson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2008

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Recipe Summary test

total:
2 hrs
Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place bulgur in a medium bowl and cover generously with hot water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, pressing to remove excess liquid.

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  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Stir in canned tomatoes and plum tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and let simmer while you prepare meatballs.

  • Place bread in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out moisture.

  • Whisk egg and egg white in a large bowl. Add the bulgur, the bread, beef, Parmesan, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Gently combine with a potato masher and/or your hands. Form into 20 oval meatballs about 2 inches long.

  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; blot with paper towels. Brown the remaining meatballs.

  • Mash the simmering tomato sauce with a potato masher to break down any large chunks of tomato. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 50 minutes.

  • Taste the sauce and add sugar, if it seems tart, and additional pepper to taste. Serve the meatballs with the sauce.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Shopping Tip: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Unlike cracked wheat, it simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for bulgur in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at kalustyans.com or buylebanese.com.

Nutrition Facts

285 calories; protein 22.7g; carbohydrates 22.3g; dietary fiber 4.1g; sugars 8.6g; fat 11.3g; saturated fat 3.7g; cholesterol 70.2mg; vitamin a iu 1894.8IU; vitamin c 42.8mg; folate 20.5mcg; calcium 127.9mg; iron 3.3mg; magnesium 44.9mg; potassium 450.8mg; sodium 663.5mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
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