A rich and savory skillet of roasted meatballs in a delicious homemade tomato basil sauce.
As the days become chillier there is this natural gravitation towards wanting comfort food to keep us warm. We may bundle up under thick, cozy sweaters but nothing beats the cold like a good hearty meal. One of our favorites is a big skillet of flavorful meatballs simmering in a homemade tomato basil sauce. These meatballs can stand alone as their own meal because we not only like to make them larger in size (picture the palm of your hand), but they have so much flavor from the combination of meats plus the onion, jalapeño and bacon pieces rolled throughout. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
Just when you thought the meatballs sounded delicious, it only gets better when you take the extra steps to make a homemade tomato basil sauce. This roasted meatballs recipe has a nice kick to it with the jalapeños and then we added fire roasted tomatoes to the sauce as well. It definitely helps give it that extra punch of flavor. Plus, who doesn’t love garlic bread dipped in a warm, savory tomato basil sauce?
Roasted Meatballs in Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 1/2 lbs mixed ground meat (beef and pork)
1/8 lb bacon, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, deseeded and coarsely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup milk
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 handful fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475°. Position rack in center of the oven.
Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, combine the dried breadcrumbs and milk to soften. Add the ground meat, bacon, both cheeses and 2 tbsp EVOO. Gently combine.
Continue to add the egg, onion, jalapeño, onion flakes, oregano and season with 1/2 tsp of sea salt and ground black pepper. Gently combine until well mixed (use your hands).
Roll the mixture into 2 1/2 inch meatballs and lightly drizzle with EVOO.
Add the remaining EVOO to the heated cast iron skillet. Add the minced garlic and let cook until fragrant. Approximately 1 minute. Add the chicken/vegetable stock and the 2 cans of tomatoes with their juices. Season with remaining sea salt and ground black pepper along with a handful of fresh basil. Stir until the basil has wilted.
Place the meatballs into the tomato mixture leaving the tops exposed. Roast at 475° for 18 minutes and tops are browned.
Serve with additional fresh basil leaves, extra cheese and freshly baked garlic bread.
Now you could always accompany these roasted meatballs with a heaping pot of spaghetti, but we like to let them be the star of the show and simply enjoy them with a loaf of fresh baked garlic bread and a hearty, full-bodied glass of Cambria Wine’s Tepusquet Vineyard Syrah. You need a wine that can handle the complex flavors of the meatballs as well as the richness of the homemade tomato basil sauce.
We can’t wait to enjoy this recipe all winter long as we’re just finally seeing the first signs of fall here in Southern California. I was just back in Wisconsin visiting family and with their 32° weather, they can’t wait to dig into a warm, hearty meal like this!
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Written By : Kristin Mansky