Spiced Meatballs

…with Garlic Toasts & Summer Squash Salad…

The Mister cooked again — thanks, honey! He also added a small serving of Orecchiette pasta.


  • 10 ounces ground beef
  • 1 small baguette
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon ( we used 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar)
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 large bunch mint (we used fresh basil from the garden)
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ounce Castelvetrano olives
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon meatball spice blend (dried thyme, garlic powder, mustard powder, dried lemon peel and crushed Aleppo pepper)


  • Wash and dry fresh produce.
  • Slice the baguette into 1-inch pieces on an angle.
  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Peel the garlic. Mince 1 clove and smash until it resembles a paste. Leave the remaining clove whole.
  • Using a peeler, remove the lemon rind, avoiding the pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Measure out the red wine vinegar and take a sip of chianti while you’re at it.
  • Cut the squash into 3-inch-long sticks.
  • Pick the mint basil off the stems and chiffonade the basil.
  • Smash the olives and remove and discard the pits. Rough chop the olives.

Meatballs! Let’s make meatballs! In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, garlic paste, spice blend, half the Parmesan cheese and half the mint basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix until just combined. Form the mixture into 12 to 14 equal-sized meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the meatballs.


Cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until browned on all sides.


Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red. Add 3/4 cup of water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and spooning the sauce over the meatballs, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced in volume by about half and the meatballs are thoroughly cooked through. Remove from heat.


In a bowl, combined the squash, lemon zest red wine vinegar, olives, and the remaining mint basil. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.


Place the baguette slices on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, carefully rub both sides of each toasted baguette slice with whole garlic clove.

Let’s eat! This makes 2 servings and each serving is approximately 640 calories…….but, since Orecchiette was added AND a glass of wine we are probably talking another bunch of calories….oh, and I topped my meatballs with freshly shaved Romano & Parmesan cheese.

We both are really enjoying the sides, in this case the salad, made with ingredients we wouldn’t normally think to combine. And the sauce! A sauce with few ingredients. Who knew it would be so tasty?


Tags: , , ,

Categories: Beef/Pork

3 Comments on “Spiced Meatballs”

  1. Monday, August 17, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    Those meatballs look amazing!

  2. Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Are you ready for red and green chili season?

    • Monday, August 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

      Absolutely! I won’t need to buy any this year….the bushel and a half that I bought last year is still being worked on. 😀

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