Baked Mini Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Makes about 40 mini meatballs
These mini meatballs are a great addition to a party buffet and, since they are baked instead of fried, they are much easier to prepare and healthier than traditional fried meatballs. They can also be used as a main dish in your favorite spaghetti and meatballs recipe or in meatball sandwiches. This recipe is an Italian-style variation but, once you learn the method, you can change the seasonings and use any sauce that you prefer, such as an Oriental-style sweet and sour.
- 2 slices day-old bread, preferably multigrain or whole wheat
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound ground sirloin, at least 90% lean
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade (see the similar and related recipes links)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the bread in a bowl and add enough milk to cover. Let soak for a few minutes. Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the meat, garlic, oregano, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk out of the bread and tear into small pieces; add to meat mixture. Use your hands to combine well. If the mixture seems a little dry, add some of the milk used for soaking the bread and combine again. Shape into one-inch balls and place on a large baking sheet, leaving a little space between the balls. Bake until brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the sauce in a pan large enough to hold the meatballs. Add the baked meatballs and gently stir to coat with sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a very low heat.
Notes: The meatballs can be baked ahead of time, refrigerated, then reheated in the sauce on a medium-low heat. Leftovers make great sandwiches.