Happy New Year to you all!! Sorry I have been MIA lately. My boyfriend had knee surgery before the holidays and it's been a bit crazy around here!
I wish I could come out with a bang to start the year off, but to me, baked goods are the way to do that and I am taking a break from those for a bit! Don't worry, chocolate will be back in my ingredient lists soon, Valentine's Day is right around the corner!!!
This picture doesn't really do this justice, but it's the best I could do with the lighting, dishes and old camera I had. I recently made this again with ground beef instead of ground chicken that I used in the original recipe. I really liked both of them, you can't go wrong.
Most meatloaf and meatball recipes use breadcrumbs to hold it together. I use mushrooms chopped up into little pieces to create the same effect, and they add some flavor. I love mushrooms and can't believe I wouldn't touch them until a few years ago. I can eat an entire 8 ounce container myself and always wish I had more! It's so easy to saute them with butter and garlic and then do a white wine or sake reduction. YUM!!!
This recipe also called for roasting your own tomatoes for the sauce. Feel free to buy fire roasted tomatoes in the can if you don't have the time to do this. I think the oven roasted tomatoes give it more flavor, but either way, this is delicious. We just eat this plain, we're simple like that, but feel free to serve over spaghetti squash.
Adapted from One Lovely Life's Basil Chicken Meatballs in Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce
Roasted Tomato Basil Meatballs
- 1 lb ground meat (I’ve used chicken and beef, both are good!)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (use mushrooms that will be used in sauce)
- 2-3 tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cartons of grape tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes on the vine (or large can of fire roasted tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
- 8oz sliced mushrooms (1/2 cup used in meatballs)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, minced
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop tomatoes into pieces and place single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet
- Drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with the oregano and salt and pepper
- Roast at 375 for 45-60 minutes
- In a bowl, combine the meat, egg, mushrooms, basil, fennel, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Form into one inch meatballs, about 20-25
- Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until just browned
- While meatballs are cooking, pulse the roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce and garlic clove until desired consistency
- Pour mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in basil and add salt and pepper or more basil to taste.
- If sauce is thicker than you’d like, add a bit of water
- Once meatballs have finished cooking, add them to the sauce and toss until coated.
- Serve hot over spaghetti squash or enjoy plain topped with mozzarella if you can tolerate dairy