Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ask the Magic Meatball...

I believe in being honest with my kids but sometimes the saying "What they don't know won't hurt them" can come into play. This definitely applies when cooking for them. I add zucchini and carrots to muffins that taste as good as any other cake so why not try doing this to my meatballs? My challenge was to make meatballs that were packed full of extra nutrients AND crazy delicious.

My kids don't drink as much milk as they used to or eat as many veggies as I'd like. So I added some carrots to the meat and had a surprise pocket of melted cheese in the middle. The kiddies ate 'em up! Although halfway through his meal, my son busted me on the cheese pocket.

Foodism Mom's Magic Meatballs

Serves about 6-8. You can also freeze half if you aren't serving that many people. Make as much pasta as you think you need.


  • 2 small onions or 1 medium, chopped small
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped fine in the food processor
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 28 oz can of tomato puree
  • 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, pulsed in the food processor until tomatoes are chopped up but still chunky
  • fresh basil leaves (about 5 large), chopped or torn into little pieces
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • olive oil
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
Add carrots and onions cook for about 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Remove a 1/2 cup of the softened onion and carrot mixture and set aside for the meatballs. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the tomato puree, chopped up whole tomatoes, basil, red wine, ground pepper, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar. When it comes to a boil, turn down to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes (during this time you can make your meatballs). Stirring occasionally.  Turn off heat and set aside until your meatballs are ready.


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground turkey (you can use beef, veal, turkey, pork in whatever ratio you like, just make sure it totals 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup of carrots/onions, cooked in a pan with olive oil until softened
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs soaked in 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • a small block of mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used shredded mozzarella because I had some that I needed to use up)
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

In a large bowl, use your hands to gently mix all of the ingredients, except the mozzarella and vegetable oil, together. Mix until just combined but don't overdo it.
To make the meatballs, grab a handful of meat mixture (about 1/2 cup). Place some mozzarella cheese in the middle and then form the meat into a ball around the cheese.

Heat up one tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs one by one. Do not overcrowd them. Do two batches if necessary.
Brown the meatballs on all sides and then place them in the sauce that you've already prepared. Bring it all back to a boil and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes (during this time cook your pasta according to package directions for al dente). Stirring occasionally.
Cut open a meatball to check for doneness.

Serve it over pasta with a side of grated parmesan cheese.


  1. This looks so yummy and I think my kids would get a kick out of the hidden cheese. Great idea!

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