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Gluten-free Italian-style Meatballs
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Celiac.com 01/10/2014 - Meatballs are another of those many culinary delights I kind of left behind upon going gluten-free, especially at restaurants. I have craved them from time to time ever since, but had yet to satisfy that craving until I came upon this recipe that uses Rice Chex in place of bread crumbs.
These simple, easy to make meatballs of beef, pork and other seasonings go a long way toward delivering that satisfaction. They can be made ahead of time, and even frozen. They go great with your favorite pasta and sauce.
When I have these around at lunchtime, I like to slice them and put them onto toasted gluten-free bread and top them with sauce and Parmesan or Romano and mozzarella cheese and pop them under the broiler for a yummy meatball sandwich.
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 dash red pepper sauce, as desired, to taste
- 1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated Romano cheese
- ½ cup seasoned finely crushed Rice Chex
Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a mixing bowl, blend beef, salt, onion, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
Add the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, and crushed Rice Chex. Mix until evenly blended, then form into 1½-inch meatballs, and place onto a baking sheet.
The fast way is to bake them until no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
Sometimes, though, I like to pop them into a crock pot with my favorite sauce, and slow cook them a few hours.
Either way, serve with your favorite pasta and sauce, or as a sandwich, sliced on toasted gluten-free bread, with sauce and melted mozzarella.
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