Introduction: MASCARPONE (CREAM CHEESE) MEATBALLS
Quick and easy to make, the recipe for these meatballs includes mascarpone cheese and buttermilk; sort of a crossover between Swedish and Italian meatballs)!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS: (4 Servings)
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb lean ground pork
- 4 ounces of mascarpone (or cream cheese)
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBS buttermilk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 low sodium breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onion (raw or dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Salt Sense (or sea salt with iodine)
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup tomato sauce (you can make your own; for convenience I used Barilla's Roasted Garlic sauce)
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan Cheese (for topping)
Step 2: PREPARATION:
- Mix the ground beef and pork together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 2 ounces of mascarpone (or cream cheese), the buttermilk, raw egg, breadcrumbs, garlic,and all of the spices and herbs and thoroughly mix (best done with your hands).
- Form the mixture together (I used a moistened 2" metal food scoop (moistening as needed); then moistened my hands (again, as needed) and rolled the mix into reasonably uniform meatballs which I placed on a metal sheet pan (lined with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray) to keep them sticking; then set them aside until ready to fry.
Step 3: INSTRUCTIONS:
- Heat the 2 TBS of EVOO in a large heavy non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet (my choice) over medium-high heat (I really prefer a setting between medium and medium high to keep the meatballs from burning).
- When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and fry them for 2 or 3 minutes per side until browned (I started with a little over one pound of meat (about 18 ounces) and I got 10 meatballs that were about 2" in diameter so I had to fry them in two batches). In order to keep the second batch from burning, I had to lower the heat to a setting that was between medium & medium-low). When the meatballs are all nice and brown add the tomato sauce to the pan; then scatter "dots" of mascarpone over them. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the meatballs in the sauce for approximately 6 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through (if the sauce begins to dry up you can add another half cup or so of tomato sauce, or, if you are cooking pasta, even a ladle of pasta water). Once the meatballs are cooked through, try to serve them immediately; either over pasta (I used egg noodles), or even as meatball sandwiches.
Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .
While I was preparing the meatballs I cooked a pot of egg noodles.
As soon as the meatballs were cooked through, *I plated a serving of egg noodles, added a few meatballs and a suitable amount of sauce, then topped my plate with some shredded BelGioioso Parmesan cheese.
That, plus a nice glass of Ruffino Chianti from Italy completed my meal!
- *NOTE: If the pan in which you have cooked the meatballs and sauce is large enough, you can place some of the cooked pasta or noodles directly into that pan, and serve the meal from the frying pan.
Step 5: NUTRITION
I have estimated the nutritional value of this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer.
(This estimate does not include any pasta or noodles. Also, I based the recipe on one pound of ground meat, but I actually used 18 ounces, and this has been taken into consideration while preparing the analysis).
- Finally, I do believe one serving of this recipe should include about 2-1/2 two inch meatballs; I got greedy and ate 5 of them the first night! (Since 18 ounces of ground meat produced 10 meatballs about 2" in diameter, the original recipe using 1 lb, or 16 ounces, of meat will probably produce 8 meatballs, or 4 servings of 2 meatballs each.