Cliff's Meatballs (made with Riccota)
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I have been looking for a good meatball recipe for a long time. Most that I have tried to make, or that I eaten in a restaurant, have been too dry and/or tough. I have seen some on television that were made with riccota cheese, and wanted to try this. I finally got around to trying these. I put together my own recipe after reading 3 or 4 on the Internet. Here is the result. They are moist, tender, and very good!

1 pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 pounds ground pork
3 tbps onion, grated
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, fresh grated
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the ground beef, ground pork, onions, garlic, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, small meatballs (about 1" to 1 1/2" in diameter), making sure to pack the meatball well. Place the meatballs on a greased sheet sheet, being careful to line them up in even rows vertically and horizontally (you want a solid square or rectangle). The meatballs should be touching one another.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through (shorter cooking times if you are going to finish them in a sauce).

Add the meatballs to your favorite Sunday gravy/sauce or marinara sauce recipe, and continue cooking at a low simmer for a couple of hours. Serve with cooked pasta, or on french bread for a meatball sub sandwitch.

Cliff Notes 1: For additional flavor use a little less than a full pound of hamburger and add a link of Italian sausage (hot or mild).

Cliff Notes 2: Form larger meatballs (about 2"), and make meatball sliders. Add a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a little shredded fresh basil, then top with tomato sauce/gravy.

Cliff Notes 3: Want something different for the kids? Chop up the meatballs, cook some elbow macoroli (or you kid's favorite pasta). Mix chopped meatballs, cooked pasta, some of the tomato gravy, and shredded Parmesan cheese in a casserole dish. Add chopped pepperoni if desired. Then top with shredded mozzarella and/or riccota cheese, and bake for 20 - 30 mintues. Serve.