A quick weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Homemade meatballs that are flavorful and tender combined with gnocchi and marinara for a simple classic. This meatball recipe is so easy and delicious that you'll use it in all kinds of other dishes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
1lbground beef85/15 lean
1/2Cricotta cheesepart skim
1Tbfresh basilfinely chopped
2TbParmesan cheesefinely grated
1/4CItalian style breadcrumbs
1red bell pepper
1package prepared gnocchi
123 ozjar marinara of choice
fresh basiloptional garnish
grated Parmesanoptional garnish
To make meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl. The best way to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated is to use your hands. A spoon will leave you with chunks of ricotta and other ingredients in the mix. If you're squeamish about touching the meat, use gloves.
Once thoroughly combined, pinch off about 1 Tb of meat and use your hands to roll into a ball. The meatballs should be about a half dollar size or just smaller than a ping pong ball.
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup, leaving a little room between each meatball. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.
To make gnocchi
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and cook to instructions.
While the water is coming to a boil. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut into four equal pieces lengthwise and then chop into quarter moon pieces that are about half-inch thick. Cut the red pepper into one-inch chunks.
Preheat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tb of olive oil to the pan. Once heated, add the zucchini and red bell pepper to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, only turning once and leaving the vegetables undisturbed otherwise so that they start to brown.
Once the veggies are slightly browned, add the marinara to the pan. If you like a lot of red sauce, I would use an entire 23oz jar, but if you like your pasta a little bit lighter on sauce, then add 2 cups. Add the 2 Tb of heavy cream, salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
Once the gnocchi is cooked, add to the pan with the sauce and veggies and mix to combine. Once mixed well, serve into shallow bowls and top with torn basil leaves and grated parmesan.
This recipe can easily me made-ahead. Put the prepared pasta into a 9” x 13” casserole pan, top it with a little grated mozzarella, cover with foil, and put it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days. When your ready to eat, just pop it into the oven at around 350 for 30 minutes covered and then another 10-15 uncovered or until the cheese on top is bubbly.
Mini Meatballs with Gnocchi and Zucchini https://cookingandcussing.com/mini-meatballs-gnocchi/