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Stuffed Saucy Meatballs and Pasta

Stuffed Saucy Meatballs and PastaRecipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano - divided use
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 small balls fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1/3 ounce each)
1 (25 to 26-ounce) jar red pepper pasta sauce or other pasta sauce
Hot cooked spaghetti, rigati, or linguine
Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Combine ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped oregano, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
  3. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Lightly shape into patties. Place 1 mozzarella ball in center of each patty. Shape beef around cheese until completely enclosed inside forming meatballs.
  4. Place meatballs on aluminum-foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake in 400°F (205°C) oven 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat pasta sauce in large saucepan until hot, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add meatballs and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  8. Spoon meatballs and sauce onto pasta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped oregano. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Dried oregano leaves may be substituted for fresh. Use 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves in meatball mixture. Add 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves to pasta sauce before heating.

Note: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C). Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe): Calories: 627; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 16mg; Total Carbs: 64g; Fiber: 4g; Protein: 38g; Sodium: 1207mg.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.