Spinach Meatballs over Rice

By Angelika Hanna

I downloaded Ina Garten’s meatball recipe for inspiration but then decided to cook my own version. I had ground beef in my freezer, so I used only one type of ground meats: Beef.

I like a zesty kick to my meatballs, so I added some Worcestershire sauce. To make my dish more healthy, I incorporated freshly chopped spinach into my meatball mixture.

Recipe:

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 50 min

Total Time: 75 min

Yield: 4 servings

Cuisine: North American/Italian

Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 large egg
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

For the Sauce:

  • 12 ripened Roma tomatoes, chopped, pre-cooked and mashed
  • 1 cooking onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped or 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground

Instructions:

  1. Coarsely chop 4 cups fresh spinach leaves and cook in heated water over low-medium heat for about 3-4 minutes or until the leaves wilt.
  2. Set aside in a sieve to let excess water drain and cool off the spinach. (The spinach leaves should cool off fairly quickly, within 5 min)
  3. In a large bowl, combine slightly with a fork the ground beef, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, egg, and cooled spinach.
  4. In a large skillet (approx. 1/4-inch depth), heat an equal amount of sunflower or vegetable oil and olive oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs using your hands. (You will have 13-15 meatballs.)
  6. Place the meatballs carefully in the heated oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning with a spatula. This should take approx. 10-12 min. (Don’t crowd the meatballs. )
  7. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels to soak up excess fat.
  8. Discard the oil from the skillet but don’t wipe the pan.

For the Sauce:

  1. Heat some olive oil in the same skillet.
  2. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 min.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the skillet, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 min.
  5. Stir in the pre-cooked tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25-30 min, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve with rice or spaghetti.

Enjoy!

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