Bocconcini-Stuffed Meatballs


Bocconcini-stuffed meatballs with penne

At Thanksgiving dinner, my sister-in-law gave me 4 containers of bocconcini that she got in a bulk food box, and would never use.  I didn’t know what to do with them either, and didn’t even know what bocconcini was, but I figured with the way my family goes through cheese, they wouldn’t be too hard to get rid of.

I took them home and tried one, but wasn’t really impressed with the flavor, and the texture was weird. Olin tried a piece and spit it out, and Evie wouldn’t even try them. They’re little cheese balls about the size of a medium egg, and are packed in water to keep them fresh. The effect when eaten plain is something like chewing moist, gelatinous socks. We weren’t impressed, and so they sat in the fridge for awhile.

The Saturday before last, I woke up really early in the morning (like 3:30, to see Tim off to work) and couldn’t sleep, and was feeling both hungry and ambitious. I had seen a few recipes for cheese-stuffed-whatever that come through my facebook, so I decided to try and make stuffed meatballs with this cheese. I figured at the worst, nobody’d eat it, but a reciple with that much cheese, garlic and onion in it was going to be hard to fail at. I found a few different recipes on the web, and decided to sort of combine them.

So, the meatballs are basically Italian meatloaf:

1 lb ground beef

1 lb italian sausage

1/2 an onion, minced fine (one of the recipes I found said “coarsely grated” and I tried that, but it’s obnoxious to try and do)

minced garlic…. about *that much* (I’ve found that if I squeeze the bottle and think it might be a little too much, that’s about the right amount – 2-3 tbsp if I had to guess)

2 eggs

approx 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs, add more if needed for malleable consistency

So, I cut all the cheese balls in half, because a whole one seemed like it’d make too big of a meatball. I ended up with 26 (there were 7 in each package, minus one that we tested), plus about 3 meatballs extra after I ran out of cheese.

I rolled the cheese in flour, then wrapped it with a few tablespoons-worth of the meat mixture, then rolled that in egg and lightly in flour again, so they wouldn’t stick together. All that went in the crock pot. That whole process took me about an hour.


Mmm, raw meat…

I wasn’t sure what to put in there for sauce, and didn’t want to get too involved in case it was a complete fail, so I just added a jar of premade spaghetti sauce and a handful of brown sugar.

It was about 6AM by then. I set the crock pot on high and left it alone other than to stir it once or twice.

By 11:30 or so, they were cooked through and we sat down to have lunch. They were… Quite good. I’m not sure that they’re enough worth the effort in prep time to do any more, but they turned out to be an excellent use of the cheese. A few of the meatballs fell apart, but they just got incorporated into the sauce and it was better with some of the cheese mixed in, I thought.


The finished product.

We fed 6 people, and I had enough left to put a serving worth in the fridge (Tim ate it the next day for lunch) and a quart in the freezer. Night before last, I thawed out the leftovers and made some angel hair to go with it. A couple more of the meatballs didn’t survive the thawing process, and it turned in to regular cheesy spaghetti sauce, but the kids ate the whole thing and I got another comment about how good it was. Tim accused me of “turning in to a real cook”. I’ve got a ways to go, but I was pleased.


Worked as leftovers, too!

If I’m not careful, this might turn in to a food blog.

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