Sicilian Meatballs with a little extra flavor & kick from Hidden Valley® Garden Italian Seasoning Mix. Serve with marinara.
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Hidden Valley® Garden Italian Dressing & Seasoning Mix
4 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1¼ pounds lean ground beef
3 sticks mozzarella string cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
cooked spaghetti or pasta of choice
In a large bowl, combine panko, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, eggs, 2 tbsp. basil, half of the garlic, and 1 tbsp. of the Hidden Valley® Garden Italian Dressing & Seasoning Mix.
Add sausage and knead with hands until well blend into the panko mixture.
Add beef and knead just until incorporated. (Do not over mix meatball mixture.)
Using a greased 1/4 cup dry measure, divide meat mixture into 12 to 14 meatballs.
Cut mozzarella sticks crosswise into 12 to 14, 3/4-inch cubes and place 1 mozzarella cube in center of each meat portion. Pinch meat around cheese to enclose. Roll meat between wet hands to form completely sealed meatball. Place stuffed meatballs on plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Flip meatballs and cook until browned on opposite side, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate. (Sides of meatballs will still appear raw.)
Discard all but 1 tbsp. of fat from the skillet and turn up to medium heat. Add onion and cook until just softened and beginning to brown. Add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, remaining Hidden Valley® Garden Italian Dressing & Seasoning Mix, remaining Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nestle meatballs in sauce with browned side up and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Turn meatballs so other browned side is up. Cover and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let rest, covered for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve over cooked pasta.