Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs
Even better than Mom’s meatballs.
If there’s anything better than meatballs it might just be sun-dried tomato meatballs. When dried and preserved in oil the flavor of tomatoes intensifies and makes a great addition to all kinds of dishes. In this recipe we’re adding the chopped tomatoes to the meatballs themselves, but also using a bit of the oil the tomatoes come in to flavor the rest of the dish, too. It all comes together to be one tasty recipe, with succulent meatballs and a silky sauce to go with.
To get started we have to make the meatballs. You can use all beef as this recipe reads, or use 50/50 beef and pork. Or make it healthier by using ground turkey.
Then mix the meat with the tomatoes, some parmesan cheese, and lots of spices- including some fresh basil. This recipe makes about 18 large meatballs, which is 8 generous portions or 10 smaller portions.
Cook the meatballs in the bottom of a big pot before adding the sauce ingredients. The sauce is a really simple one, but very tasty. In addition to the extra tomato oil, there’s also some fresh mozzarella pearls in the sauce for even more flavor.
Between the cheese in the meatballs and in the sauce, you don’t need any extra at the table. But, of course you can serve some parmesan with these meatballs if you want! I like to serve these big meatballs with some thick spaghetti, but other pasta will work, too.
Add a side salad or some garlic bread and you’ve got this meal ready to go. The sweetness and the flavor the tomatoes add to the meat means that these meatballs turn out even tastier than traditional meatball recipes. And that’s really saying something.
Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs
30m prep time
24m cook time
For the meatballs:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 8 oz sun-dried tomatoes, drained and oil reserved
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the sauce and serving:
- 16 oz pasta of your choice
- reserved tomato oil
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 oz mozzarella pearls
- Chop up tomatoes. Combine beef, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, tomatoes, parmesan, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and basil. Roll into 18 meatballs.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium. Add meatballs and cook 4-5 minutes each side.
- Boil and drain pasta according to package directions.
- Add 1 tablespoon tomato oil, marinara sauce, and dried thyme to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat until bubbling. Remove from heat and add mozzarella. Cover until cheese is melted. Serve over pasta.
Recipe adapted from Cafe Delites.