Baked Spaghetti and Stuffed Meatballs

For the meatballs you will need:
2lbs ground beef
1lb ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use fresh)
1tsp dried parsley
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
2-3 T Italian dried seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 lb chunk of mozzarella cheese (cubed, you will use some to stuff meatballs and some to spread out over the sauce below them)

Combine ALL ingredients EXCEPT mozz cheese, and roll into 24 meatballs. They will be big! When you roll a meatball, stick a small cube of mozz in the center and completely seal it back up. If you do not take time to make sure they are sealed, the cheese WILL leak out and the fun stops there. HA! I used a little water on my hands to make sure they were sealed good! In a skillet with olive or vegetable oil, brown the meatballs on all sides.

It is important to brown them to seal the cheese in. You aren’t cooking them all the way through here, just browning them. When you are done set them aside.

For everything else you will need:
1 lb spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine. *no angel hair or thin spaghetti*
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 jar of your favorite or homemade marinara
1 regular size can of diced tomatoes.
1 16 ounce package of grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 375. Boil your pasta for the lowest cooking time recommended. Drain. Run under cold water, to cool it quickly. In a bowl with a clean hand, mix together the pasta, egg, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Lay it in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. It will act as your “crust”. Lay the rest of your leftover mozzarella on top of the pasta. You can see I just pulled pieces apart with mine but if you cube it all just lay them over.

Now in the same or a clean bowl mix together your marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. I gussied mine up a bit, but when you are ready, pour it over the top of the pasta evenly.

Now take your meatballs and top the whole dish with them. I got 4 rows of 6 perfectly.

Place on a baking sheet to catch any potential drips, bake for 30-45 minutes.

Remove, and sprinkle cheese on top, bake for another 15-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and meatballs are cooked all the way through. Make sure to check your meatballs!! When it is done, let it sit for 15 minutes before serving. It will cut just like a cake, because of the egg in your pasta. Perfect pieces!

This is delicious, and easy to change to suit your liking. Do you like ricotta? Put that on top of the marinara too! It was the original plan but since my husband knows I don’t like it, he didn’t want me to put it on.

This will freeze like a dream and when you are still eating it 2 days later, it will be even better than when you first made it! I promise!

This is one hearty meal, that will feed a crowd and don’t be surprised if you have to unbutton your jeans. Just sayin….

Your “never leaving another meatball unstuffed” chefwannabe

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