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Stuffed Meatballs

Even Nonna would approve of these authentic Italian meatballs. Made with lean Ontario ground veal and simmered in a rustic tomato sauce they feature a deliciously decadent centre of melted bocconcini cheese.

 1 28 oz (796 mL) can whole plum tomatoes
 2 garlic cloves, chopped
 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil
 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) salt, divided
 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) salt, divided
 ¼ cup (50 mL) milk
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1 lb (500 g) Ontario ground veal
 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely grated onion
 ¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
 ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried hot red pepper flakes
 8 cocktail sized pieces, bocconcini cheese
 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
Steps:
1

Pulse tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until chopped. In a large heavy saucepan over medium low heat, simmer tomatoes with garlic, oregano, basil and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the salt, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

2

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl combine breadcrumbs, milk and egg. Let stand 5 minutes. Add veal, onion, Parmesan, parsley, red pepper flakes and remaining salt and gently combine with your hands (do not over mix). Form into 8 large meatballs, inserting a whole piece of bocconcini into the center of each making sure there is no room for the cheese to escape.

3

Brush each meatball with oil and arrange on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the centre of a 400 F (200 C) oven until golden, about 15 minutes.

4

Using tongs, gently transfer cooked meatballs to saucepan with sauce. Simmer meatballs in sauce until cooked through and flavours have combined, about 15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes then serve.

Cook's Notes:
5

Makes 4 servings