Who doesn't love a delicious. meatball after a long week of grad school? I know I for sure do. Paired with crispy bread and a simple salad, it can't be beat.
garlic cloves, 2 minced, 1 whole
4 ounces ricotta
10 ounces ground beef
6 ounces tomato paste
2 mini French rolls
3 ounces baby spinach
Oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar
In a medium bowl, mix to combine 1 clove minced garlic, all but 2 tablespoons ricotta, 1 large egg, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper . Add beef, then with slightly moistened hands, knead until combined; form mixture into 8 meatballs.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add meatballs ; cook, turning once or twice, until browned but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Add 1⁄4 cup tomato paste and 1⁄4 teaspoon 1 clove minced garlic to same skillet; cook, stirring, until paste darkens slightly, 1–2 minutes. Stir in 11⁄2 cups water, 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Return meatballs to skillet. Bring to a simmer; cook over medium, basting meatballs with a spoon, until sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, split rolls in half. Generously brush cut sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place rolls directly on top oven rack and broil until lightly toasted, 1– 2 minutes per side (watch closely). Remove from oven and rub a clove of garlic on the cut sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar ; season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss spinach in bowl with vinaigrette.
Spoon meatballs and sauce into shallow bowls. Spread a dollop of the remaining ricotta over top of each garlic bread. Serve salad alongside. Enjoy!