What I Cooked for Dinner: From Rachael Ray's Look+Cook

So, I had one of those I need to try something different moments.  I was falling into a rut of Rice & Beans, Salmon and Brown Rice for dinner every day.  I have this book that I found in Sam's Club over a year ago, and I figured it was time to try another recipe!

So I picked out the recipe: 
Bocconcini Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato-Pesto Sauce! 

Sounds delicious already right? That's exactly what I thought when I saw it, and read the recipe I thought that it wasn't too easy yet not impossible! The great thing I like about this book in particular is that the recipe and instructions are on one page, and the spread of pictures showing certain steps an the final product are on the same open spread. Which is great in mid-recipe when you need to double check something there is no reason for tomato-sauce fingerprints on the pages!

So with my dinner plan in mind I made my way over to Wegmans to grab up ingredients I didn't have!
(All excuses are great excuses for Wegmans! Especially when it involves the Olive Bar!)

Here is a gratuitous shot of the ingredients ready to go!!!

So, first thing is to soak stale bread in milk, so that you can later squeeze out the milk and crumble it into the meat mixture.

Which is this, the meat is a veal, beef and pork mixture, egg, flat-leaf parsley, minced garlic, grated Parmesan-Reggiano, and salt and pepper.

Make sure that there are no big clumps of bread, and mix to combine the ingredients well.

So as per the directions, I took a handful of meat, and flattened it, then took the Bocconcini which are pretty big, and nestled it right into the meatball. This is the part that counts, make sure to not leave a seam of ground meat as it will definitely break open an the cheese will melt right out! So make sure its closed up well and roll it between you hands to make sure its nice, round, and even.

Now I must say, these meatballs come out REALLY big.  But in the book its basically the only thing you eat. It isn't paired with pasta. But you certainly can if you want to!

Before popping them in the oven,  I brushed some EVOO onto the meatballs so that they can brown nicely in the oven. (Which was preheated to 425º)

While the meatballs were cooking I started working on the Tomato-Pesto Sauce, I had a can of San Marzano Plum tomatoes, peeled and whole. I put them into a smallish frying pan and mashed the tomatoes.  I then added salt and pepper, to taste. 

This is what it starts to look like after stirring often and cooking on medium-high heat, it will even start to thicken up a little.

The Pesto was Basil, Parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest, chicken stock and S&P.  About of 1/4 cup of EVOO was to be added while processor was going to make it into a thick paste. This step was a bit of a flop for me. Because I have a mini Cuisinart Proccessor which you have open to add anything, so of course, I added too much Olive Oil and the paste just wasn't happening. Next time I will be more patient.

Right around that time, the meatballs were ready! Don't they look DELISH!?
(In the back you can see some of the mozza pouring out from one of the meatballs. Not the most ideal situation but then again, I don't mind the baked cheese at all!)

Here it is....now I'm just going to say this now...I am obviously not a professional food photographer and I am nowhere near skilled in the food presentation department, but.....this is the meal...The Tomato-Pesto which turned out REALLY tasty (and as easy as it was to make, I wonder if I'll buy jarred sauce ever again)
I topped it with the meatballs and then sprinkled some more grated Parmesan-Reggiano over it.

Now the meal as a whole was SOOO yummy...the garlic, herbs and cheese was such a good blend...and the sauce was a great addition.  

Now the recipe makes 16 meatballs stating that it serves 4, but in the end only twelve fit the rimmed baking sheet and two meatballs were more than enough for me! They are still quite large after cooked.  Its definitely yummy alone, but it can be easily tweaked to a meatball parm style open sandwich meal, or you can add a chunky pasta like bow-tie.  Either way, it's pretty easy to make, its totally customizable and get this....

My daughter devoured it!!

How's that for kid-approved!?!? :)

So dinner was a success and this one will definitely be a regular...treat!!! I will be running the calories off of this one today!

Hope you all get a chance to try and if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me or leave a comment below! :)


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  1. Now... why am I looking at this at 11:14 p.m. and getting hungry? LOL! This looks like a great recipe. I'm definitely going to try it!

  2. LOL!!!I do the same thing! Pining and pinning away looking at pictures of Red Velvet Cake!! LOL Thanks definitely do! Her website should have the recipe if not a very similar one!


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