Fontina-Stuffed Oregano Meatballs and Pasta

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup small tube or shell pasta, dry

STEPS

In a large bowl, place the breadcrumbs and cover with milk. Allow to sit for five minutes to soak. Add the pork, beef, Pecorino, oregano, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Form into 2” meatballs, and push a cube of Fontina cheese into the centers of each, making sure cheese is completely covered. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or deep pan with a lid.

Cook the meatballs in the hot oil until seared. Turn and sear other side of meatballs. (Interior of meatballs may not be completely done, but they will cook more later). Remove and place on a plate to set aside. Heat remaining oil in the same pan and add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until soft, then add tomato paste, tomatoes, chicken broth, and dry pasta, Stir to combine. Add meatballs and cover with lid. Turn heat down to a low simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until pasta is done. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino, if desired. Serve.

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