December 19, 2016

Sheet Pan Meatballs and Sausage

Sheet Pan Meatballs and Sausage that are perfectly cooked in the oven can be simmered in pasta sauce, served on crusty rolls as subs, or frozen for quick and easy meals later.  You will love this recipe!

Sheet Pan Meatballs and Sausage that are perfectly cooked in the oven can be simmered in pasta sauce, served on crusty rolls as subs, or frozen for quick and easy meals later.  You will love this recipe!

Italian food is no joke, just ask the Italians.  I've had a few Italian friends in my 38 years and, I'll tell you, they take their home cooking very, very seriously.  The make delicious, elaborate, family-style feasts featuring fancy pasta dishes and crazy things like octopus, that truly put my party spreads to shame!

When discussing Italian cooking with my Italian friends, they are very particular about certain terms and pronunciations for some of the foods that they cook.  No matter how authentic I try to sound, I always end up sounding like a darn fool if try to talk about Italian food like they do.

For instance, manicotti.  Yeah, not even going to go there.  Man-eh-cah-tee, right?  Yeaaaaaah, no.  Not so much.  More like mon-ah-got if you say it like my old Italian friends.  I just sound silly if I try to say it like that.  And is it sauce or gravy?  I honestly thought gravy was what you put on pot roast not a tomato sauce for pasta, but I digress.

We make a lot of Italian food in our house and I often wonder how close my recipes are to the authentic family recipes passed down through the generations and generations of Italian families.  I've tried quite a few recipes for meatballs over the years and I have finally found one that I really love...this one!  This recipe isn't exactly like the meatballs my mom makes.  She commented on how large these were as soon as she saw them and she never cooks hers on a sheet pan.  But, my mom isn't Italian.  Maybe her way isn't 100% authentic.

Are big meatballs more authentic than littler ones?  Are authentic meatballs usually cooked in the oven or in a pan?  Who knows!  Haha!  Not me.  Any Italians out there want to chime in?  Either way, these beauties cooked alongside some Italian sausages on a big old sheet pan make me feel like I'm cooking like a true Italian.  This is now my favorite recipe for meatballs and sausage.  Serve them with some pasta, on a big crusty roll as a sub, or freeze them for quick and easy meals later.  I know you will love them!


Sheet Pan Meatballs and Sausage

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Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 slices hearty white sandwich bread
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef chuck

Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl to slightly cool.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mash the bread and milk with the onion mixture.  Remove the casings from two of the sausage links and add to the bread mixture along with the parmesan, parsley, eggs, garlic, and salt.  Mix well with your hands to combine.
  3. Add the ground beef and knead with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into 2 1/2-inch meatballs (you should have about 16 meatballs), and place on rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange the remaining sausages around the meatballs and bake until well browned, about 20 minutes.

Notes
  • Once your meatballs and sausage are cooked, you can transfer them to your favorite sauce to simmer for a bit and add flavor to it, fill some hoagie rolls with them and top with mozzarella, or freeze for later use!
  • Slightly adapted from Cooks Country.

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