Tonight I am making meatballs using ricotta cheese. Ricotta has many benefits such as a whopping 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of good carbs in a half cup serving of the fat free variety. I cut the recipe in half to make twelve 1 1/2 inch meatballs and added in some mushrooms to the sauce. I then served the meatballs over Smart Taste Angel Hair pasta by Ronzini – it has extra fiber which we can all use more of 🙂
Update: The meatballs are delicious! I was worried that the meal would be bland because of using plain tomato sauce but the sauce pulled in flavor from cooking with the meatballs for the last 15 minutes and it was fantastic. Gavin, who has never been a big meatball eater, slowly ate the first one, ate a second and then asked for another. He did pick around the mushrooms but they blended in the sauce really well so I am confident he ate a few, lol.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup crushed saltines
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, onion salt, garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups Classic Tomato Sauce
Preheat the oven to 415°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, saltines, herbs and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.
While the meatballs are roasting, heat the tomato sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often.
When the meatballs are firm and fully cooked, remove them from the oven and drain the excess grease from the pan. Pour the tomato sauce over them. Return the meatballs to the oven and continue roasting for another 15 - 20 minutes.