We do love our meatballs here and I have an excellent go-to recipe. Well, it’s a casual recipe since I have it memorized and sort of eyeball the ingredients as I toss them into the bowl. I wanted to tuck a cube of cheese into the meatballs this time. Molten cheese oozing from our meatballs? Oh yeah! This is my first post on what will be Ground Beef Week. Time to celebrate a very versatile meat!
I had lots of packages of bowtie noodles (farfalle) in the pasta cupboard for some odd reason and so they would be partnered with the meatballs. A simple marinara sauce would tie them together and fuel our craving for a pasta dish with meatballs. Molten, cheesy meatballs!
I used my usual recipe for meatballs and added the ingredients to a mixing bowl. I added plenty of salt and pepper this time as it’s the one thing my P.S. notices I forget most often when making meatballs. They need salt and pepper to bring out the flavors! I even added chopped green onions this time to use up a container I had in the fridge.
I used the smaller cookie scoop to scoop each meatball onto a platter. From there I used my hands, tucking a cube of mozzarella into the center of each meatball before rolling it into a perfect ball in my hands. The mozzarella was actually the reason I thought to make the stuffed meatballs. I had a brick of cheese to use up and a craving for meatballs.
When all of the meatballs were rolled I heated my large nonstick skillet to medium high and sautéed them until they were browned on several sides. Toward the end the cheese did begin to ooze out a little but no problem, the cheese could get all melty in the marinara and give that a boost too.
I added the marinara ingredients to the skillet and let it come to a bubbling boil then reduced it to medium and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
The cheese melting gave me the idea to add more cheese to the marinara sauce and so I stirred in a large handful of Parmesan.
I’d been cooking the bowties to al dente as I seared the meatballs and made the sauce. They were drained and ready to add to the skillet. I stirred well to coat the pasta.
I taste tested the sauce and pasta at this point to check for seasoning. I cook the pasta in salted water so that it is already seasoned. I was double checking the sauce to make sure the salt level was good as well.
I still had cubes of mozzarella to use and tossed them into the mixture to melt and meld with the bowties and meatballs. This was going to be one cheesy dish!
I served the pasta and meatballs for dinner garnished with another sprinkle of Parmesan and some green onions. Did we love it? We loved, loved, loved it! This was a cheese lover’s dream of a dish. Creamy cheese oozing out of each bite of meatball, tangy marinara sauce as a good contrast, it was to die for! Deliciousness without a whole lot of work and plenty leftover for another meal! Pasta bliss!
Molten Cheese Meatballs with Bowties
1 box bowtie pasta
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
1/4 cup green onions; chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
mozzarella; 1/2″ cubes
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese; more to garnish if desired
Prepare pasta according to box directions for al dente.
In a bowl mix ground beef, oatmeal, onions, egg, salt and pepper. I use my hands to mix it well.
Use a cookie scoop to form meatballs onto a platter. Using hands, tuck a cube of cheese into each meatball before rolling it into a ball. Set onto another platter.
When all meatballs are formed, heat a large skillet to medium high and brown the meatballs, stirring to brown them on several sides.
When the meatballs are cooked through (they will begin to ooze cheese), add the marinara sauce ingredients. Bring to a bubbling boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir in drained pasta until coated well. Let simmer another 5 minutes to absorb some of the marinara sauce and serve hot.