Cooking with PINS ~ Meatballs in Marinara

Yesterday it was cloudy, so I decided to make some meatballs…

Meatballs plated

I’ll admit that these meatballs came about because of the weather.  If you have listened to any news channel I’m sure you  have heard about the storms (i.e, the tornadoes, or was it a hurricane, no, it was a derecho?) that came through the East coast.  I walked by one of the windows at the office and it was so cloudy and dark and for some reason the saying,  “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” came to mind.  I guess even storms make me think of food!!  So, in honor of surviving the storm, I decided I would make some meatballs!

Meatball mix

I love this meatball recipe!  I’ve made it before and it has become a staple for me especially when I am trying to eat low carb… I reduce the amount of bread crumbs, eat it without the noodles and it is still just as good.

Meatballs rolled

What I like about this recipe is something that I was initially very skeptical about.  For this recipe you actually cook the raw meatballs in the sauce, no pre-searing them and then adding them to the sauce.  In essence, you are poaching the meatballs, which makes them very light. I know that’s not the greatest picture, but the proof is in the picture…

meatball collage

The key to a good meatball recipe is to not end up with dry, tough meatballs.   For me a good meatball is moist and flavorful.  The sauce, once the meatballs are complete, should be nicely flavored by the cheese and seasonings in the meatball but not overpower the taste of the meatballs.

Meatballs 2

This recipe is from one of my early Pins on my For the Love of Food Pinterest board….meatballs

Per usual I adjusted the recipe a bit by reducing the amount of bread crumbs, increasing the ground beef and ricotta and adding a little parsley to the meatball mixture.

I also used both asiago and Parmesan cheese, because that’s what I had on hand… I think this combination turned out really good.  I am a firm believer in adapting recipes so that you can make use of your ingredients.  Now, adapting a recipe shouldn’t stray too far from the original, but a couple adjustments here and there are just fine!

These meatballs are easy to throw together and should you not currently make your own meatballs, give this recipe a try… you will be surprised with how quick these come together, plus the are really good!!!!

Meatballs and Spaghetti

Meatballs in Marinara
Makes 12 meatballs

1 1/4 lbs. ground beef (I used 80/20)
5 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (I used half asiago and half Parmesan)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used some that I made myself, the original recipes calls for panko)
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

  • Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix thoroughly (I did this by hand) until completely combined and the mixture is uniformly firm.
  • Coat your hands in olive oil, and using your hands form mixture into medium sized balls.  To make them uniform I used a large ice cream scoop, each meatball measured about 3 ounces.
  • Have marinara sauce cooking over medium heat and drop the meatballs into marinara sauce and let cook for about 10 minutes on one side, flip meatballs and cook for another 10 minutes, covering them in the sauce with a spoon as they simmer.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Easy Marinara Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, 2 finely chopped, 2 smashed
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In large saucepan, add carrot, onion and garlic to pan over medium heat and let cook until soft. Be careful to not burn the garlic.
  • Season with italian seasoning.
  • Add the crushed tomato and diced tomatoes
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, but do not over do it because the meatballs will add some flavoring as well.


  • Fabio Viviani original  meatball recipe can be found here.  The marinara sauce is by me!
  • These reheat very well, just cook on low heat or a lower setting in the microwave.
  • As mentioned, these are great for low carb cooking, just eat with a salad.



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