Italian-Style Beef & Pork Meatballs
This foolproof meatball recipe makes enough to stash away for another day. They're great to have on hand for easy dinners (see 3 ways to use them, below), but also make good impromptu appetizers.
To make ahead: Freeze cooked and cooled meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes.
Tips: Try these meatballs in one of these easy dinner recipes.
Meatball Pesto & Gnocchi Bake:
Cook 1 lb. gnocchi in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium heat until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 18 meatballs and 1/3 cup each pesto, ricotta and water; stir until well-coated. Spread the mixture into an even layer and top with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs. Broil on high until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. (Serves 6)
Meatball Stuffed Shells:
Cook 18 jumbo pasta shells in boiling water. Whisk 1 cup ricotta, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 large egg and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Stuff 1 of 18 meatballs and 1 Tbsp. of the ricotta mixture into each shell; arrange in the baking dish, open-side up. Top with 1 cup sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with foil. Bake at 375°F until the sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover; bake for 10 minutes more. (Serves 6)
Meatballs over Cheesy Polenta
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Slowly whisk in 1 cup cornmeal and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thickened and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 4 sliced scallions, 1 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Serve 16 hot meatballs over the polenta. (Serves 4)