Doubly Cheesy Meatball Bake
- 2 c. packed torn crustless stale white bread
- 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 c. finely chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed with press
- 2 lb. ground lamb or beef chuck (80% lean)
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- 1 c. lower-sodium beef or chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, soak bread in cold water 20 minutes. Squeeze out and discard excess water from bread.
2. To bowl with soaked bread, add feta, mint, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, tossing to combine. Add lamb and mix until just combined; form into twelve 2-inch meatballs.
3. In 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meatballs; cook 10 minutes, turning until browned on two sides. Transfer to large plate. Pour off excess fat from pan, leaving thin coating; scrape up any browned bits and reduce heat to med. To skillet, add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, broth, oregano, bay leaves and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to simmer; cook 15 minutes or until reduced slightly, stirring often. Add meatballs to tomato sauce; top with mozzarella cheese. Transfer skillet to oven; bake 20 minutes. Reset oven to broil on high; broil 3 minutes or until cheese has browned. Garnish with mint.