with potatoes / green beans
These "porcupine" meatballs get their name from the cooked rice that is folded into the mixture and pokes out a bit after cooking. Ricotta lends moisture to the meatballs.
Smarts: If you’d like tomato sauce for dipping Thursday’s calzones, double the recipe below and set half aside for Thurs.
- Shallots - 1 bulb, diced
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Thyme leaves - 1 tsp, leaves torn
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Paprika - 1/4 tsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Beef, ground - 1 lb
- Cheese, ricotta - 1/4 cup
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1/4 cup
- Eggs - 1
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Cooked rice (leftover from Monday) - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Green beans, fresh or frozen - 12 oz, chopped into 1” / 2.5 cm pieces
- Potatoes, baby red or yellow - 1 lb, halved
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Green beans / Shallots / Garlic / Thyme - Prep as directed. Store green beans and shallots in their own containers. Combine garlic and thyme in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make tomato sauce - (If prepping right before cooking, get water for potatoes / green beans boiling before continuing with prep.) Heat a saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and saute for 1 minute. Pour tomatoes over top and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Form meatballs - Combine beef, cheese, panko, eggs, salt, oregano, black pepper, and cooked rice. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm wide meatballs. You should have ~4 meatballs per serving. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Potatoes - Slice potatoes in half. Soak in water if not using right away.
- Place potatoes into a stock pot and cover with cold water and some salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Add green beans and continue simmering potatoes and green beans together until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 4 to 6 minutes more.
- Drain and let sit in a colander for ~5 minutes to let the steam escape (this creates creamier potatoes vs. liquidy potatoes).
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and saute on all sides until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour tomato sauce (reserve half if you doubled it for Thursday) around meatballs and cover. Cook, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Toss potatoes and green beans with butter. Season generously with some salt and pepper.
- Serve meatballs and sauce with potatoes and green beans on the side. Enjoy!
Added some Italian seasoning to jazz up the taste a little. Different and the whole family enjoyed it.0 Helpful
We used parmesan instead of ricotta. We wish we had more sauce - we must have used too much in the calzones.0 Helpful
used soy crumbles to make veggie meatballs - needed an extra egg to get them to hold together but tasty and pretty easy to make0 Helpful
Nothing about this worked for me. The meatballs completely crumbled. Ended up with meat sauce. Lowest score in three years. I’ll admit part of it was that I used too small a pan to cook the meatballs.0 Helpful
Not sure if the ricotta added much - I think it got lost in the sauce. But for the most part, we thought these were good. The potatoes and beans didn't really seem to match the Italian style of the meatballs, though.0 Helpful
Came together pretty easily but not as flavorful as I’m used to with cooksmarts- sauce should be cooked longer to build up flavor I think. Also, will use small gold potatoes next time- my red ones weren’t super yummy.0 Helpful