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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

on December 27, 2014

2014-12-24 17.21.03

Is it just me, or does everybody love a great meatball? Well, I guess I can answer that question. I brought these Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, well need I say more…Simmered low and slow, this tomato sauce is a recipe I’m really proud of. The star, my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

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Let’s start with my tomato sauce that the meatballs are going to bathe in. Set the stove on medium heat. Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pot. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes. To that diced onion and minced garlic. Sautè for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Now unsalted chicken broth that I bring up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. The peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, lower the heat to low and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. Well, now while the sauce is simmering away, I’m going to start on these deliciously stuffed meatballs.

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First, add olive oil to a sautèpan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, 2 large beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together,  add the 2-1/2 pounds of ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

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Next, dice up the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

While the sauce simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

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Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

2014-12-24 17.21.03

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one!

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 24 meatballs (golf size)
Equipment: Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, food processor
Oven temperature: 375-degrees

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, purèed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 1/2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 diced finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
24- 1/4 inch diced low sodium Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Let’s start with my tomato sauce that the meatballs are going to bathe in. Set the stove on medium heat. Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pot. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes. To that diced onion and minced garlic. Sautè for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Now unsalted chicken broth that I bring up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. These peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, lower the heat to low and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. While the sauce is simmering, start on the stuffed meatballs.

First, add olive oil to a sautèpan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, 2 large beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together,  add the 2-1/2 pounds of ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

Next, dice up the low-moisture Mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

At the same time, the sauce is simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some fresh torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each with one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

2014-12-24 17.21.03

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