“Hunger makes you restless. you dream about food — not just any food, but perfect food, the best food, magical meals, famous and awe-inspiring, the one piece of meat, the exact taste of buttery corn, tomatoes so ripe they split and sweeten the air, beans so crisp they snap between the teeth, gravy like mother’s milk singing to your bloodstream.” ~Dorothy Allis
This fontina cheese meatballs recipe happened because many of you have been asking me for an old rustic recipe of spaghetti and meatballs. Not that you don’t already have a great meatballs recipe on file.
But you wanted one that grandmas make and take it to their graves. Now if you ever met me, then you know I will never be that grandma, I get too excited about food and I talk way too much to be able to keep such a secret. Plus I believe food isn’t nearly as much fun unless shared. And meatballs aren’t nearly as much fun as when they are stuffed with fontina cheese. Amen !
So today is the day to reveal my stuffed fontina cheese meatballs recipe, and pass it forward to the world. I hope you’ll do your part and pay it forward too.
Cheese meatballs are meant to be shared, and served over long spaghetti noodles coated in a home-made arrabiata tomato sauce, and slurped like nobody’s watching. Because there’s nothing better than the intoxicating smell of tomato sauce simmering away on the stove in grandma’s kitchen, that smell that lingers around for days…
And there’s nothing like biting into a dozen cheese meatballs to find a gooey melty surprise inside. Trust me, you’ll understand once you take your first bite. I can’t even begin to mention how tender and healthy these cheese meatballs really are, especially since we are only using organic grass-fed beef.
- 1 lb organic grass fed ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic – grated
- 1/4 c bread crumbs -dried & plain
- 1 slice bread -1 inch thick
- 1/2 c milk
- 1/3 c ricotta cheese
- 1 organic egg -lightly beaten
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 c fresh parsley -chopped
- 3/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- parmigiano reggianno cheese for grating
- 1/4 lb fontina cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 lb spaghetti organic
- 4 tbsp toasted pine nuts for garnish
- this Arrabiata Tomato Sauce
- Start by making the Arrabiata tomato sauceand let it simmer away on gentle flame while working on the meatballs.
- Soak the sliced bread in the milk for a few minutes, squeeze the milk out and add the bread to a bowl. Combine it with the ground beef, garlic, parsley, baking soda,ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and the egg.
- Mix everything with wet hands and add the bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into golf ball size meatballs and arrange them on a cookie sheet.
- Press 1 cube of the fontina cheese into each meatball and reshape to encapsulate the cheese completely. Transfer each meatball into the simmering sauce making sure to coat evenly. Cover with a lid and let them simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package and toss them with the marinara or arrabiata sauce. (Reserve the rest of the sauce for later ) Transfer to a serving platter and add the meatballs on top. Grate some parmigiano reggiano on top and sprinkle with some parsley and basil leaves.
Make the tomato sauce first and half way through, start working on the meatballs, and cooking your pasta.