Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Garlic and Mint Meatballs in Bloody (or Virgin) Mary Sauce

My husband, Dan, makes the best basic meatballs.  When we opt for the traditional take, I ask him to prepare a batch for us.   I like to play around with different flavors.  These are really good.  I use a combination of ground chicken and lean sweet Italian sausage to cut out some of the fat and calories.  The mint and garlic flavors, along with the cheese, really give these a nice delicious taste.  Perfect for making and freezing for those busy school nights.

I used a jar of sauce in this recipe, which I doctored-up with a little veggie juice cocktail and onion powder.  The vodka is entirely optional.  You can keep this family-friendly and you won't really miss the vodka but if you want to add it, it does bring an extra layer of flavor.


3/4 lb. ground chicken
3/4 lb. lean sweet Italian sausage
1 jumbo egg, beaten
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 dashes soy sauce
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. dried mint flakes
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
2 tbs. olive oil, more as needed
1 jar (16 ounces) traditional pasta sauce (your favorite brand)
1/2 cup 100% vegetable juice cocktail (regular, not spicy)
Pinch or two of onion powder
Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Vodka, optional


Combine all ingredients up to the olive oil in a large mixing bowl.  Mix with hands until combined.  Form into meatballs.  Yield at about 14 meatballs.

Add olive oil to non stick skillet.   Heat oil until hot.  Add meatballs in batches and lightly brown on all sides.  Set aside and keep warm.   You can add a little more oil between batches if needed.

Once all meatballs are browned, add to a sauce pot along with a jar of your favorite sauce, the vegetable juice cocktail and the onion powder.  Stir gently as not to break up the meatballs.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.  Cover an simmer over a low heat for at least one and one half hours; longer if you have the time.  

Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  

You can serve these meatballs as a starter.  These are excellent halved on a meatball sub or over whole grain pasta and/or with broccoli (both pictured).

If you like this post, you might also enjoy: http://welcometojustforcooking.blogspot.com/2012/01/mama-pirris-chicken-sausage-meatballs.html

I'll see you soon!
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