This is my take on a meatball sub....crispy garlic bread topped with a giant turkey meatball that has been baked in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella. Put together a Salad Bar, and dinner takes no time at all!
I use a basic meatball recipe, but add in any vegetables or cheese that are waiting to be eaten. Tonight there was half a roasted red pepper, some zucchini and grated Parmesan. I would have used the last little bit of feta cheese, but not everyone likes it, so it can be used up another time.
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 roasted red pepper, diced
3/4 cup grated zucchini
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
a few drops of hot sauce
Mix well to combine everything. Then add in 2 pounds of ground turkey and 1 1/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs.
Use your hands to squish it all together, making sure all the vegetables are well distributed throughout.
Divide into 6 balls...I did say they are giant!!!
Place them into an ovenproof dish, and press the centre down. This makes a little well to hold some tomato sauce.
If you are making them ahead, wrap well and refrigerate or freeze until you need to bake them.
If you freeze them, be sure to defrost them before continuing.
Spoon 2 cups of Basic Tomato Sauce over and around the meatballs. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake at 350F until cooked through, about 45 minutes. The sauce will be bubbling and the cheese will be melted and golden.
Make the garlic butter while the meatballs are baking.
1/4 cup softened butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
This can also be prepared ahead and chilled or frozen.
Spread onto slices of bread and bake alongside the meatballs for the last 20 - 30 minutes, until crispy around the edges.
Serve the meatballs on top of the toast, and bring any extra tomato sauce to the table.
- You can use beef instead of turkey.
- Extra cherry tomatoes? Cut them in half and place them around the meatballs. They will release their juice as they bake, and add sweetness to the sauce.
- Other vegetables to try in the meatballs: corn, sweet peppers, green onion, chopped cooked spinach, roasted garlic or shallots, sundried tomatoes or olives.
- Any available fresh herb can replace the basil...chives, oregano, parsley, rosemary or a combination.
- Instead of mozzarella on top, use goat cheese or feta cheese; better yet, replace the grated Parmesan with crumbled feta cheese.
- Leftover meatballs can be sliced and used on sandwhiches (meatloaf sandwhich with a twist) or served with pasta.
- Small appetites? Adjust the size of the meatballs.
- Make a large batch of garlic butter, it freezes well and is nice to have on hand. Let it firm up a bit, then form it into a log and wrap well with plastic wrap. Slice a piece off using a hot knife, and you can add flavour to omelettes, sauteed vegetables, stuff it under the skin of chicken before roasting it. This works well with chopped fresh herbs, spices or roasted garlic too.