Ricotta and Parmesan Meatballs with Red Sauce

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I write this with a mouthful of leftovers and, most likely, a fair amount of red sauce smeared all over my face.  It’s just that good.  My husband requested “pasta Sunday” this weekend and this was the outcome.  So fast and perfect for the entire family and I love the fact that there are no breadcrumbs in the meatballs.  Simple, real and so incredibly tasty.

Ricotta and Parmesan Meatballs with Red Sauce

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

1 Pound Ground Beef, preferably 85/15

15 Ounces Whole Milk Ricotta

1 Egg, lightly beaten

3/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

For the Sauce:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

6 Cloves Garlic, chopped

3/4 Cup Red Wine

1 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes

1 28 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Pepper

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon Agave or Honey, optional

Directions

For the Meatballs:

Preheat oven to 400, line a baking sheet with foil and grease the foil to prevent meatballs from sticking; non stick cooking spray would work fine also.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with your hands until just combined.  Use an ice cream scoop to measure out portions of the mixture and then roll into balls.  Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart and cook for 15-20 minutes or until just cooked through.  Makes 24-26 meatballs.

For the Sauce:

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.  Add wine and bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes or until most of the alcohol smell has cooked out.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper and simmer, over low heat, for 15 minutes.  Add basil and if the sauce tastes too acidic add agave or honey.  Place meatballs in the pot of sauce and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with your favorite pasta or polenta, if desired.

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