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Recipe: Mushroom and Beef Meatballs

Summary: It is rare that meatballs can be described as light, but these are. You bake them in the oven at a low temperature and the result is a very tender tasty meatball.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cubed Italian bread (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 medium carrot (about 4 ounces), cut in 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound roasted mushroom base or soup (just under 1/2 recipe, about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt to taste (about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bread in a bowl, toss with the milk (add a little more milk if 1/4 cup isn’t enough to moisten all the bread) and let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile toss the carrots with 2 teaspoons olive oil on a parchment-covered sheet pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until tender and lightly browned (you can also make the mushroom base at this time).
  3. Squeeze the milk out of the bread and crumble the bread into a large bowl. Add the beef, mushrooms, carrots, onion, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper and mix together well.
  4. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Working in batches, pulse the meat and vegetable mixture in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until pasty. Return to the bowl. Fill a small bowl with water for dipping your hands, then with wet hands form 1-ounce balls, which will be about the size of a golf ball, and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. You will need to keep wetting your hands.
  5. Bake 40 minutes, or until the meatballs are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and if desired, simmer for up to an hour in tomato sauce. I like to serve these with spaghetti.

Quick notes

Advance preparation: The roasted mushroom base will keep for three days in the refrigerator. The shaped meatballs will keep for a day in the refrigerator and freeze well. The cooked meatballs will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Calories: 186

Fat: 3 g

Protein: 11 g

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of NY Times