Florentine meatballs have spinach and loads of other aromatics that make them taste fantastic. Served over a simple marinara sauce or made into a wonderful meatball sandwich. If you have any leftovers they even make an awesome topping for Friday night pizza.
You will need:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 9 oz of baby spinach = 1 cup cooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic – chopped fine
- 1 onion – grated
- 2 spring onions – chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 3 sun dried tomatoes in oil – chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes – peperoncino
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chopped bread soaked in 1/2 cup milk (10 minutes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- small can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic – crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – best quality
Step 1: start by quickly cooking your spinach in some olive oil with salt and pepper. It will just take maybe 4 minutes. The leaves will wilt and then some of the water will start to cook out. Once cooked you can chop until finely minced.
Step 2: add your pork and beef to a bowl. Add chopped spinach (you could use frozen spinach here just squeeze out most of the water. Add chopped garlic and grated onion. If you prefer you can add all the ingredients except the meat to a food processor if you would rather not chop with a knife.
Step 3: chop spring onion and parsley. Chop sun dried tomatoes. Grate Parmesan cheese. Add everything to the bowl with the meat along with grated nutmeg, zested lemon, dry oregano, chili flakes and egg.
Step 4: soak chopped bread in milk.
Step 5: add bread, salt and pepper and mix well.
Step 6: using a large ice cream scoop make balls enough for dinner for your crowd.
If you have leftover meat you can make the same size to freeze or I am making small ones for my next spaghetti and meatball dinner which I will freeze and then place in a Ziploc bag.
I make a simple sauce and heat just before serving.
Step 7: Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes. You can drizzle a bit of good oil and a grating of cheese to the tops before baking.
Plate with a scoop of hot sauce and a bit of fresh Parmesan on top. You can also make these into great meatball sandwiches and if you like you can top with a bit of mozzarella and put back into the oven to melt.