I made these for my dad’s birthday as well since my mom told me that I could 1) bring whatever I wanted and 2) she liked my appetizers I make. I don’t know that I’m an appetizer whiz or anything but I have made a point at most large get togethers to have some kind of appetizer/snack food prior to the meal.
So I thought that this recipe for Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs might be a good one to cross off my list of things to make. Based on the timing, the party being Sunday lunch and the business of the morning with church, etc. I got up early (not as early as I normally get up but early for a Sunday) and put these together.
Based on the number of people coming, I decided to double the recipe. Another reason was that it didn’t really say how many this made. And knowing me, I’d mess up something in portioning it out. As I didn’t quite read the recipe closely enough, or just didn’t pay attention, I was short 1 egg in doubling it. Based on that, I chose to make one batch and then start over with a second batch, minus one egg. Plus my bowl really wasn’t big enough to hold 4 pounds of meat plus other stuff.
Once they were all cooked and mixed together in the sauce, you couldn’t tell which ones were made with one less egg. Maybe that means you could go with one less egg to begin with. Or not. Whatever floats your boat.
Speaking of the sauce and everything, the recipe calls for browning the meatballs and then simmering in sauce for 30 minutes. Based on the timing, I chose to bake them for 20 minutes and then put them in the crockpot on high with the sauce for an hour or so. Worked great and maybe made less of a mess. I put a piece of parchment paper down on the pan so clean up was a cinch. Plus, based on how I was doing it, I could mix the second batch while the first ones baked. It did result in some of the cheese exploding out but it was only a few.
Now, size-wise, these turned out to be pretty big. I think it said 2″ meatballs and I just eyeballed the size. It needed to be big enough for the piece of cheese, which I didn’t want to skimp on either. But in the end, they were pretty darn big. But, that just means you eat one or two instead of more.
For the cheese, I managed to get by with cutting up one 8 oz block of mozzarella. Oh, and for the sauce, I used 2 24-oz jars of a plain marinara. After putting it all in the crockpot, it maybe could have used more sauce.
On to quantity – the first batch resulted in 18, the second was 15. See? Told you I have portioning issues. I could tell as I was making the second batch that they were a little bigger but I let it go. If it had been significantly off, I may have done something but only 3 off wasn’t that big of a deal to me.
Taste – great. The sausage adds a nice flavor.
These worked well as both a meatball appetizer and then as part of spaghetti when using up the leftovers.