Green Meatballs

By May 3, 2016

These meatballs get their fun color from a hefty dose of minced spinach or kale worked into the meat. Serve with red sauce and pasta, veggie noodles, or on top of a bed of sautéed greens for a super healthy and kiddo-friendly dinner.

 1/2 cup milk
 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
 1 small onion
 1 large clove garlic
 2-3 large handfuls of spinach (or kale)
 1 egg
 1 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp black pepper
 1/3-1/2 cup grated hard salty cheese (parmesan, Asiago, Hull's Trace or Flat Rock)
 1 lb ground pork, brought to room temp
 1 quart tomato sauce
 Fresh pasta or more greens for serving
1

Turn your oven to 400.

2

Let the milk and the breadcrumbs soak together in a small bowl.

3

In a food processor, very finely mince the onion and the garlic and set aside, and then process the spinach and set aside. You should have roughly 1 cup of finely minced spinach, a little more or less.

4

In one large bowl, whisk your egg and add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and minced spinach. Mix till combined.

5

Add your pork, onions and garlic to the bowl, and begin to mush with your hands. Add in the breadcrumb and milk mixture and work just a few minutes by squeezing the meat through your hands and fingers rather than pressing and kneading like bread dough.

6

Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven (toss once to avoid one side getting too flat), and finish in a skillet with some sauce for another 5 minutes, testing to make sure the internal temp is above 165. Serve with the sauce over fresh pasta or more cooked spinach or kale.

7

Store cooked meatballs in the fridge for a week, with or without sauce, but add extra when reheating (the fridge will dehydrate them.)

8

To make ahead and freeze uncooked: once formed, set in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover with a thin layer of plastic wrap. Freeze till solid, about 2 hours. Pop into a labeled freezer bag and remove all air (or use a food saver.) Label with cooking instructions (thaw overnight in fridge before baking/simmering for 20-30 minutes) and use within 1-2 months.

Inspired by the Kitchn's Guide to Making Basic Meatballs.

Ingredients

 1/2 cup milk
 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
 1 small onion
 1 large clove garlic
 2-3 large handfuls of spinach (or kale)
 1 egg
 1 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp black pepper
 1/3-1/2 cup grated hard salty cheese (parmesan, Asiago, Hull's Trace or Flat Rock)
 1 lb ground pork, brought to room temp
 1 quart tomato sauce
 Fresh pasta or more greens for serving

Directions

1

Turn your oven to 400.

2

Let the milk and the breadcrumbs soak together in a small bowl.

3

In a food processor, very finely mince the onion and the garlic and set aside, and then process the spinach and set aside. You should have roughly 1 cup of finely minced spinach, a little more or less.

4

In one large bowl, whisk your egg and add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and minced spinach. Mix till combined.

5

Add your pork, onions and garlic to the bowl, and begin to mush with your hands. Add in the breadcrumb and milk mixture and work just a few minutes by squeezing the meat through your hands and fingers rather than pressing and kneading like bread dough.

6

Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven (toss once to avoid one side getting too flat), and finish in a skillet with some sauce for another 5 minutes, testing to make sure the internal temp is above 165. Serve with the sauce over fresh pasta or more cooked spinach or kale.

7

Store cooked meatballs in the fridge for a week, with or without sauce, but add extra when reheating (the fridge will dehydrate them.)

8

To make ahead and freeze uncooked: once formed, set in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover with a thin layer of plastic wrap. Freeze till solid, about 2 hours. Pop into a labeled freezer bag and remove all air (or use a food saver.) Label with cooking instructions (thaw overnight in fridge before baking/simmering for 20-30 minutes) and use within 1-2 months.

Green Meatballs

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