Meatballs speckled with herbs, tucked inside crusty bread with a beneficiant smear of thick tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. That is simply the form of factor I attain for once I need to eat my emotions after a tough day.

However who has time to make meatballs and sauce, particularly after a protracted day? This fast little quantity from the appropriately titled “Leon Blissful Quick Meals” by Rebecca Seal, Jack Burke and John Vincent (Conran, 2020) permits me to simply scratch that comfort-food itch on a weeknight. The cookbook options 100 recipes from the health-conscious British restaurant chain.

After I point out meatballs to people, I typically get pushback: They’re an excessive amount of hassle, too messy. When you hold the spicing easy and bake as described right here, I really discover them fairly darn simple to throw collectively. And, possibly it’s simply me, however I really benefit from the means of forming them.

“Realizing you possibly can bake meatballs is life-changing,” a colleague stated to me the opposite day when she noticed the picture of this baked meatball sub. I, like her, used to fry the meatballs on the range after which drop them into home made tomato sauce.

Right here, you bake the meatballs on a wire rack set inside a rimmed sheet pan. This permits among the fats to drip off, which I admire, and that hands-off cooking provides you time to make a fast sauce.

For the sauce, you possibly can simply open a jar of your favourite marinara, however I like this recipe as a result of it produces a really thick sauce from canned tomato puree, a splash of olive oil and dried spices. When you cook dinner it down simply sufficient, you possibly can unfold it on the bread and dollop extra on the meatballs for a much less messy and really tomato-y sub.

For the meatballs, Parmesan cheese and recent herbs, equivalent to basil and scallions, ramp up the flavour with out a lot effort. When you choose, substitute recent oregano or parsley. I like to make use of Italian breadcrumbs, however plain are high quality, as effectively.

A few meatball ideas: Divide your spiced floor meat into 12 equal quantities earlier than you begin shaping the meatballs. This manner, you might be certain they’ll all be the identical dimension and performed on the identical time. (I made mine with beef, however you would additionally use floor lamb, turkey or hen.)

Then, deal with the meat solely as a lot as essential to include the substances and kind the balls. The much less you therapeutic massage the meat, the extra tender the meatballs might be. It’s okay if the balls are a bit misshapen.

Slip the sub rolls into the oven to calmly toast them — or not, if that fits your style. Additionally, you possibly can overstuff the subs or simply have a number of meatballs leftover for snacking. A sprinkling of basil leaves on prime of every sub provides a pop of shade and freshness, too.

Baked Meatball Sub

Need to gild this sub lily? Place a slice of provolone or mozzarella on the sandwich and run it beneath the broiler for a minute or two till the cheese melts and bubbles. Then, dig in.

Storage Notes: Leftover meatballs and sauce might be refrigerated for as much as 3 days.

Elements

  • 3/4 cup recent basil leaves, divided
  • 1 pound lean floor beef (93 p.c lean or greater)
  • 1 giant egg, calmly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, plain or Italian
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon high quality sea salt or desk salt, plus extra as wanted
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper, plus extra as wanted
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as wanted
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, ideally Italian
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed crimson pepper flakes (non-compulsory)
  • 4 sub rolls (or any form of lengthy, sturdy roll or baguette), top-split or aspect break up

Place a rack in the midst of the oven and preheat to 375 levels. Set a wire rack inside a big, rimmed sheet pan.

Finely chop about 2 tablespoons of the basil. Then, in a big bowl, mix the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, scallion, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, the Parmesan cheese, the chopped basil, salt and pepper. Gently combine simply till every part is evenly mixed, however don’t work the combination an excessive amount of or the meatballs might be dense and hard.

Divide the combination into 12 equal parts and form every one right into a ball; switch the meatballs to the ready baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or till cooked via with an inside temperature of 165 levels.

Whereas the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium warmth, mix the tomato puree, olive oil, the remaining garlic powder, oregano, dried basil and crushed crimson pepper flakes, if utilizing, and convey to a simmer. Cook dinner for five minutes or till barely thickened, style and season with the salt and pepper as wanted. Take away from the warmth, cowl to maintain heat and put aside.

A minute or so earlier than the meatballs are performed, slip the rolls onto a baking sheet pan and put them within the oven for about 2 minutes to heat.

When the meatballs are performed, take away them and the rolls from the oven. Set the break up sub rolls out in entrance of you. Halve the meatballs (or not, for those who choose, however halving retains them from falling out of the sandwich). Unfold the lower sides of the bread with just a little of the sauce, then stuff with meatballs and spoon over just a little extra sauce.

Sprinkle the subs with additional Parmesan and the remaining complete basil leaves, and serve.

Diet Data

Per serving (1 roll, 4 meatballs, 3 beneficiant tablespoons sauce)

Energy: 471; Whole Fats: 14 g; Saturated Fats: 4 g; Ldl cholesterol: 120 mg; Sodium: 900 mg; Carbohydrates: 51 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein: 36 g

This evaluation is an estimate primarily based on accessible substances and this preparation. It shouldn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

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