Baked Italian Meatballs
Baked Italian Meatballs are not just another meatball recipe. Mixing ricotta and Parmesan cheeses into the ground beef, gives them a lighter texture and keeps them together without having to add breadcrumbs. It also adds a wonderful flavor along with the other spices and herbs.
You can use other ground meats or protein crumbles of your choosing. We like adding some hot Italian sausage to our mixture since it adds additional Italian flavor to our Baked Italian Meatballs. If you have never tried our own Pasta Sauce, you need to take a look since it also uses Hot Italian sausage and has a wonderful flavor Cheryl has been making for many, many years. For that recipe, click HERE.
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lb. Ground Beef
¼ Pound Hot Italian Sausage (casing remove)
½ Cup Ricotta Cheese
¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus More for Serving
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Teaspoons Dried Greek Oregano
¼ Cup Freshly Chopped Parsley, plus More for Serving
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Large Egg, Beaten
2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 (28-oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
Cooked pasta of your choice for serving
Make meatballs: Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with 2 tablespoons of the oil. In a large bowl, add ground beef, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, parsley, and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, beaten egg, of the 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Mix until just combined.
Form into 16 meatballs. Place on the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. In a large pot, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add remaining 3 cloves garlic, the other 1 teaspoon oregano, and other ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Add cooked meatballs to sauce. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve the meatballs over the warm pasta. Top with the Parmesan cheese and parsley.