Packing a punch of fiery flavors, this zesty meatball recipe combines premium ground pork with a medley of aromatic Italian herbs and spices.
Crafted by our culinary experts, these meatballs pack a punch of fiery flavors, combining premium ground pork with a medley of aromatic Italian herbs and spices. Each bite promises a harmonious blend of heat and zesty undertones, a true symphony of taste.
The accompanying Garden-Fresh Marinara Sauce is a delightful medley of sun-ripened tomatoes, sautéed onions, bell peppers, and garlic, simmered to perfection. This velvety sauce envelops the meatballs with its rich essence, elevating the dish to an entirely new level of goodness.
Enjoy these delectable meatballs and marina just as they are, relishing the bold fusion of spice and herbs. Alternatively, allow your culinary creativity to flourish by pairing them with al dente pasta, offering an authentic Italian experience that’s both comforting and robust.
For a rustic twist, serve the spicy meatballs atop a bed of creamy polenta, harmonizing the kick of the meatballs with the smooth, comforting texture of the polenta. Each spoonful will transport you to the charming countryside trattorias of Italy.
Embrace the versatility of this recipe by transforming the meatballs into a mouthwatering sandwich filling. Nestle them between two slices of crusty artisan bread, topped with a generous drizzle of the vegetable marinara sauce, and savor every scrumptious bite!
Whether you choose to enjoy these spicy Italian meatballs solo or explore their pairing potential with pasta, polenta, or as a sandwich, one thing remains certain – a sensational flavor experience awaits.
The Perfect Wine Companion
Spicy Italian Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2-pound spicy ground pork or sausage
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your desired level of heat)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil (for greasing the baking sheet)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and spicy ground pork or sausage, using your hands to blend them together thoroughly.
- Add the breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, basil, and oregano to the meat mixture, continuing to mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Stir in the minced garlic and finely chopped onion, ensuring they are well incorporated into the mixture.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lightly beaten egg and milk. Pour this mixture into the meatball mixture and gently mix until it forms a cohesive blend.
- Add the red pepper flakes, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to the mixture. Incorporate the spices evenly to ensure a uniform distribution of flavors.
- Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into meatballs of your preferred size. Place the meatballs on the greased baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spaced.
- Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through and have a golden-brown crust on the outside.
- Once the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and add to the marinara sauce.
If using sausage links – Opening sausage links to utilize the ground pork inside is simple! Follow these instructions:
- Using a sharp knife, carefully make a shallow lengthwise cut along the casing of the sausage link. Be gentle to avoid puncturing the casing or cutting the meat inside.
- Once you have made the initial cut, use your fingers to peel or pull the casing away from the ground pork. Work slowly and cautiously to avoid damaging the meat or mixing the casing with the pork.
- As you remove the casing, you will expose the ground pork inside, which can now be used for various recipes.
- You can now cook the ground pork as you would with any other ground meat. Use it to make patties, meatballs, tacos, pasta sauces, or any other dish you desire.
- Remember to handle the ground pork with clean hands and practice good food safety measures.
Garden-Fresh Marinara Sauce
- 6-8 sun-ripened tomatoes (fresh tomatoes), diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions for Harvesting Fresh Ingredients
- Sun-Ripened Tomatoes: Harvest the tomatoes when they are fully ripe, plump, and bright red. Gently twist them off the vine or use pruning shears to cut the stem. Rinse thoroughly under cool water before dicing them for the sauce.
- Fresh Basil and Oregano: Snip the basil and oregano leaves just above a leaf node, encouraging new growth. Harvest in the morning when the oils are most concentrated, and the leaves are at their freshest. Rinse the leaves gently and pat them dry before chopping.
- Carrots: Carefully pull or dig up the carrots from the soil. Choose medium-sized ones that are firm and vibrant in color. Wash them thoroughly and use a grater to prepare the grated carrot for the marinara sauce.
Instructions for Cooking Vegetable Marinara Sauce
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they turn translucent.
- Stir in the diced red bell pepper and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and grated carrot to the pan, cooking for another minute until the garlic becomes aromatic.
- Incorporate the diced sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, and oregano into the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and release their juices, creating a thick sauce.
- Add the red pepper flakes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and sugar to the sauce, stirring well to combine all the flavors.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed to suit your preferences.
- Let the sauce simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify.
- Once the sauce reaches your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- For a smoother texture, use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the sauce until smooth.
- Serve the delectable vegetable marinara sauce over your favorite pasta or use it as a delicious accompaniment to various dishes. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.
We have selected a sublime wine pairing that beautifully complements the bold flavors of our Spicy Italian Meatballs and Garden-Fresh Marinara Sauce: Ruby Magdalena Vineyards Tempranillo. Read more here
Serve the Spicy Italian Meatballs with the Garden-Fresh Vegetable Marinara Sauce as an appetizer, a hearty addition to pasta, polenta, or as a delicious meatball sandwich filling.
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