Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spicy Meatballs!

Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. How did your team do?  How about your fantasy team(s)? Do the Seahawks look like the team to beat this season or what? Did anyone expect the Dolphins to beat the Patriots? Were you biting your nails during the ending of that Steelers - Browns game? If your team pulled out a win, that's awesome. If your team didn't win fear not, there's a lot of football left, so get off the ledge and check out the recipe for Week 2...

Now who doesn't love meatballs? No matter how you prepare them, they're going to be a hit. You can never go wrong if you serve these little globules of happiness on gameday. A few years ago, my buddy Anita from Hungry Couple and I contemplated a meatball truck because they're such a popular treat. Unfortunately reality set in (along with unemployment) and it didn't happen. So instead I make the gang happy by serving up Spicy Meatballs for the games (and they don't have to wait on line to get them, either!).

I've taken my tradtional Italian family meatball recipe and spiced it up a little because spicy things are more fun on gameday. They're easy to prepare and roast up perfectly. The accompanying tomato sauce is also very easy and cooks up pretty quickly. You can munch on them as is, or in a roll or even as a slider. Like wings, you can make them ahead, freeze them and have them ready when the gang comes over.

Spicy Meatballs with Red Sauce
(makes 32 golfball sized meatballs)

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1 cup of ricotta (whole or part-skim)
3/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cayenne powder (more or less depending on how spicy you want them)
Salt & pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce:
24 oz tomato sauce
1/2 small yellow onion (minced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 tsp cayenne (optional - if you really want to turn up the heat)
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


For the meatballs:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 375-degrees F.

2.  Mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated, roll meat mixture into golfball sized balls and place on a non-stick sheetpan.

3. Roast until meatballs are browned (about 20 minutes) and the internal temperature reads 140-degrees.

For the tomato Sauce:

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, pour enough oil to cover the bottom.

2. On medium heat, add the minced onion, add salt and saute until translucent.

3. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic is slightly golden.

4. Add the tomato sauce, mix thoroughly. Bring to a slight boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Add meatballs and heat through.

Serve with rolls - or not!

See you next Wednesday for Week 3 action both on the field and in your kitchen!


  1. Ricotta? I've never tried that. Now I will. And you mean we're not going to be doing a meatball truck??? :)

  2. I used very lean ground beef, so the ricotta adds moisture and a little richness at the same time. They come out very tender.
    Meatball truck? We'll see....