Growing up, my mom was known for many things in the kitchen. One of her specialties were her Swedish meatballs that were like popcorn. One, two, three….you just couldn’t stop once you started! This recipe is a tribute to her Swedish meatballs and the walk down memory lane.
Yield: 28, 1 1/2-ounce meatballs
Oven: 425ºF and 325ºF
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
2 pounds ground pork sausage
2 large shallots, minced (approximately 3 tablespoons)
2 garlic, minced (approximately 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sundried tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or Herbs De Provence
1 tablespoon tomato paste, best quality possible
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly whisked to break yolks
2, 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes, like San Marzano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a large bowl, add ground pork sausage, shallots, garlic, sundried tomatoes, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence, and tomato paste. Using clean dry hands, mix until just combined. Add ricotta and eggs, mix again until just combined being careful to not over-mix.
3. Using clean dry hands, shape into 1 1/2-ounce balls. Note: mixture may be a little sticky and wet but will keep their shape when baked.
4. On two parchment lined baking sheets, place meatballs in an even layer with 1 inch barrier from on to the next.
5. Place in preheated 425ºF oven and allow to partially cook through and light brown in color, approximately 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, make sure you switch the bottom pan to the top and the top pan to the bottom to help with even coloration.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF.
7. Transfer meatballs to a large 9x13-inch baking dish and evenly cover with crushed tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Allow to bake until sauce is lightly bubbling and meatballs are cooked through, approximately 40 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and serve with sauce while hot.
Kitchen Note: Right before serving, consider garnishing with freshly sliced basil and additional grated Parmesan.