baked meatballs with arugula salad

Everyone knows the best meatballs are made by their mom or grandmother, but these are pretty close!

By: Anna Decker / 08/08/2016

Manchego is a hard Spanish cheese that adds a nice nuttiness to the meat mix. We used a blend of beef, pork, and veal for a perfect balance of flavor and fat. Starting on the stove and finishing in the oven in a stew of tomatoes and oregano keeps in flavor and moisture. Crusty bread, anyone? Cook, relax, and enjoy!

What you'll need: ¼ oz fresh oregano 4 oz Manchego cheese 1½ lbs meatloaf mix ½ cup panko breadcrumbs 14 oz can chopped tomatoes 2 ciabatta rolls 3 oz baby arugula 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 large egg coarse salt freshly ground black pepper olive oil

Equipment: box grater large ovenproof skillet rimmed baking sheet

Recipe steps: 1. Prepare ingredients Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove oregano leaves from stems and finely chop leaves. Crumble (or grate) manchego cheese into small pieces.

  1. Make meatballs Add ground meat, panko, 1 beaten egg, oregano, and ½ of the manchego to a large bowl. Season with 1¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix to combine. Shape mixture into 16 balls.

  2. Cook meatballs Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5–7 minutes.

  3. Make sauce and bake Add tomatoes to skillet and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until meatballs are cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter remaining manchego over top.

  4. Toast bread Meanwhile, split rolls in half through the middle. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, facing up, and toast along with the meatballs until bread is golden, about 10 minutes.

  5. Make salad Toss arugula with vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside meatballs and crusty bread. Enjoy!

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