My goal in 2012 is to eat more veggies. (When my dad’s in town.) As much as my dad enjoys having me cook for him, sometimes I think he’d like some healthier choices.
Eating these meatballs makes me feel like I’m doing something good for body. I rarely eat veggies and sneaking spinach into a meatball is the perfect way to add veggies into my diet. I wasn’t overly fond of the flavor of this meatball; I think the recipe could be improved upon. I’ve listed the ingredients exactly as I made the dish; however, next time I make this recipe I will omit the lemon and the cinnamon. I did not much care for either of these flavors.
- 1 slice rustic bread, crusts removed
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 4 oz. pepperoni
- 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 egg
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 c. dry white wine
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
- 2 c. chicken broth
- Place garlic and pepperoni in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add chicken, spinach, onion, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Process until well mixed and all the chicken is chopped.
- Add mixture to breadcrumbs. Stir in cheese, lemon rind and egg. Form into 12 2-inch meatballs – they will be very soft. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Cook five minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes, turning meatballs once until meatballs are firm and register between 165 and 170 degrees F in the center with an instant read thermometer.
- Serve over pasta.
I made these meatballs while rolling homemade pasta and throwing together some tomato bruschetta. I’m not normally able to juggle three dishes easily but somehow I managed to get each dish done at the exact time I wanted, which was exactly when my dad and my sister walked in the door.
I’ve made meatballs before but never before cooked meatballs on the stove top. I have a newfound respect for my mother who has made meatballs from scratch since before I was born – they’re not easy! I found it a bit difficult to brown the meatballs (especially while juggling other recipes). I had to constantly turn the meatballs because it smelt like they were about to burn almost the entire time they were browning – thankfully they didn’t!
If you are looking for an alternative to beef meatballs, you should try my Turkey-Feta Meatballs. They’re delish!