Poached Meatball Parm Casserole
  • 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, ½ chopped and ½ sliced into ¼" rings
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb lean ground beef extra lean
  • 1 lb sweet italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp california garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ cup cottage cheese, small curds
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  1. Beginning with the sauce, in an oven friendly casserole dish (I used a 3 qt, you may use larger, but definitely nothing smaller) over medium heat add your olive oil.
  2. Once oil heats up add your onions and carrots, let cook until onions are translucent and carrots have softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Next add your tomato sauce, basil leaves & bay leaves. Reduce heat to a simmer and let sauce sit, partially covered, for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally (and being sure not to scrape bottom of pan).
  4. While sauce is simmering begin forming your meatballs. Preheat oven to 425 and set rack in middle position.
  5. First in a small bowl add your panko crumbs and milk. Let crumbs soak in milk for 10 minutes.
  6. Next in a large bowl add your beef, sausage, garlic, garlic powder, black pepper and soaked crumbs. Mix together with hands and form about 10-12 meatballs.
  7. Let sit out at room temperature, covered, until sauce is ready (but no more than 40 minutes).
  8. Remove bay leaves from sauce and then add meatballs to sauce (it is okay if they are touching) and scoop a little sauce on top of each meatball before placing in oven.
  9. Place casserole dish in oven, uncovered, and let meatballs cook for 35-40 minutes, occasionally spooning sauce over them while they cook (about every 15 minutes).
  10. In a small bowl add your cottage cheese and ricotta and mix together.
  11. Once meatballs have finished cooking, remove from oven and forming small balls of cheese mix with your hand, scatter them into sauce and meatballs.
  12. Place casserole back in oven for another 8-10 minutes or until cheese has begin to soften and heat up.
  13. Remove from oven and serve with bread, pasta, or a la carte.
Recipe by My Lavender Blues at https://mylavenderblues.com/poached-meatball-parm-casserole/