Meatballs Are a Worldwide Favorite
Meatballs are not just a comforting dish, they are comfort. These little packs of protein fill kitchens with their sweet aroma and are filled with flavor and nutrition. The perfect meatball will melt in your mouth and send you back to childhood—no matter where you’re from. It’s one of the most versatile dishes that can be adapted for a weeknight meal or an elevated night out at the finest Italian restaurants.
Typically served on top of mounds of al dente spaghetti, the meatball reaches its true pinnacle of flavor when nestled alongside savory gnocchi. Max out the flavor for this all time comfort meal by using Dare to Be Different Cauliflower or Broccoli Gnocchi. Simmer the sauce, toss the gnocchi and call your friends and family for a new twist on an all time classic.
Origin of the Meatball
The meatball has gone on a fascinating journey to our dinner table. Food scholars believe the first version of the modern day meatball appeared in Persia, a derivation of kofta; a kebab-like cross between meatballs and meatloaf.
Meatballs then traveled across the Mediterranean and arrived in Italy. At this point, meatballs were typically no larger than the size of marbles and floated in soups instead of in pasta dishes.
Across another body of water, the meatball reached its most common incarnation in the Italian restaurants and grandmother’s kitchens of America. Slightly larger in size, these meatballs are served with warm spaghetti and marinara sauce.
The real beauty of the meatball comes from its ability to reinvent itself. There are infinite combinations of meats, spices, breadcrumbs and cheeses that can represent every culture. Meatballs are also completely egalitarian, with different cuts of ground meat tasting only as delicious as the love and care in the kitchen itself.
Balls of Nutrition
Meatballs are a great source of nutrition, especially protein. In fact, every 100g of meatballs (3-4 medium sized meatballs) includes 42% of the daily value of protein for the average diet. Not only that, these bite sized babies are loaded with iron (12% DV) and fiber (18% DV).
Homemade meatballs are even better for you, where you can control the level of sodium with added salt and opt for lean meats like ground turkey. All that being said, we won’t discourage anyone from going full on with flavor or topping your dish with a heaping helping of parmesan before serving.
- 2 bags Dare To Be Different Gnocchi
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2, 13 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1.5 or 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Parsley, as garnish
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. After boiling, strain and toss with oil to prevent sticking.
- In a large pot, combine tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together lean ground beef, egg, almond flour, 1 teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Once ground beef is combined, form into 2-tablespoon portions and roll into balls.
- Place raw meatballs into the sauce that is still cooking on the stove.
- Cook meatballs in the sauce, about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Once meatballs are cooked, mix in the cooked gnocchi and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the meatballs with gnocchi & garnish with parsley.