Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Comfort and Joy

Whenever I'm yearning for some comforting food, the first thing that comes to mind is meatballs. Maybe it is because I grew up eating meatballs every week. Hot and steamy, soft and plump, meatballs would appear on the table with macaroni like clockwork each Thursday evening.

So when I came across Mary Ann Esposito's recipe for Pesto Meatballs I just had to try them.  This recipe is a little different from my mother's tried and true weekly meatballs. It combines two different cuts of beef as well as incorporating a tasty pesto sauce into the mixture.  Also they are baked in the oven instead of fried which makes for a much cleaner cook top when you are finished.

Mary Ann Esposito

2/3 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
3 heaping tablespoons pesto sauce
1/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese (you can omit part of this if you have already added cheese to the pesto)         
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound ground beef round
1/2 pound ground beef (with higher fat content than round)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and pour milk over them.  Let the breadcrumbs soak for a few minutes then whisk in the egg, pesto sauce, cheese, salt and pepper.

Crumble the meats over the bread crumb mixture and use your hands to combine well.  Scoop up about 1/3 cup at a time to form the mixture into meatballs.

Place them on a slightly oiled or silpat-line baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are lightly browned.

Serve them in tomato sauce as a main course or as a side with pasta.  Very good.

Makes 12 2-inch meatballs


  1. I love the idea of baking them in the oven. Why haven't I ever considered this option? Hmmm. Thanks!

  2. TRACY: Mine, too.

    PIERRE: So glad you stopped by. Thanks for commenting.

    KATH: :)

    DENISE: What a concept!

  3. These look like they are not bite size, but I would try to eat the whole thing in one bite.

  4. NICOLE: Ha! No,they are not bite size; but why not make them marble size to dip into a room temperature tomato sauce as an appetizer?

  5. Meatballs! THAT is what I think I want for Christmas Eve dinner whilst watching Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation! Perfect!

  6. boy oh boy these look terrific--
    I often oven-roast my meatballs, but have never tried adding pesto---or mixing up the cuts of beef. wonderful ideas.