Ingredients

2 eggs, beaten
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into strips, about ½ inch
36 mozzarella balls, called bocconcini
½ cup marinara sauce
½ cup Alfredo sauce
½ cup pesto

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Make meatball mixture by combining in a large bowl the eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, onion, sausage, ground beef, salt and pepper.
2. Take mozzarella balls and wrap prosciutto around them, take meatball mixture in hand and make a ball with the wrapped mozzarella balls in the center. Repeat until you have made as many meatballs as you can, about 1 ½ inch in size.
3. Bake in oven until done, about 30 minutes.

Serve on platter over the three sauces or place the sauces on the side in separate bowls.

Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2012.

Julie Geary of Classic Cooks gets asked to prepare parties all of the time. Just like with the chicken wings three ways, she always is on the lookout for something new and here is another one.

Sure, the same old meatballs are great but why not surprise your guests a little bit this year with these tasty meatballs stuffed with little mozzarella balls wrapped in prosciutto. They will look and smell like delicious meatballs but the surprise will be when they bite into them.  After putting on one of the sauces - marinara, Alfredo, or pesto – watch the look of surprise on the faces when they bite into it. The rich flavors form the melted cheese center will combine with the sauce and meatball flavor for a one-of-a-kind experience.

What about the name? The word Caprese comes from the original caprese salad, called Insalata Caprese, which was named after the island of Capri in the Campania region of Italy. It consists of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil seasoned with olive oil and salt. These meatballs are a variation of that theme, using small mozzarella balls seasoned with olive oil and basil. The small mozzarella pieces are also known as bocconcinis, which means “small mouthful” in Italian. It may be a small mouthful when stuffed in these meatballs but it will be a mouthful with a lot of taste.

Meatballs are definitely a staple at any Super Bowl party that you'd probably have. Today we're going to make a surprise meatball. It's called a caprese meatball. And the reason it's called caprese is because the little, tiny buffalo mozzarella-- when I think it's called bocconcini-- are we going to put-- wrapped with a little bit of prosciutto-- right in the middle of the meatball. So you eat the meatball and you get this little surprise when you eat it.

So we're going to start off by making our meatballs from scratch. You can use your own recipe if you'd like, but this is what I've done. I'm using equal parts of pork Italian sausage and hamburger. We're going to mix these two meats together. Nice combined. So this is the garlic.

Now we're adding the seasoned bread crumbs to this. The minced onion. Two eggs. And all of this helps just to bind the meat. And that's what we needed to do. And we're going to add the milk to it. We're going to add a little salt and pepper. And just take this and mix it all together.

Make sure you get this nice and combined, so that the egg white and the yolk and everything else is really mixed up good inside this neat mixture. The best part about this is the little surprise inside the meatball. We're going to start by taking the prosciutto, which we've had thinly sliced. We're going to slice this fairly thin into a long strip. And then we're going to take this small cheese ball, and we're going to wrap this right around the prosciutto. Very simple. You don't have to secure it with anything. Just pick it up and wrap it.

Now what we're going to do is we're going to take a little bit of the mixture that we made. You just want to make a small circle in your hand, just like a patty-- like it was a sausage patty. And now what you're going to do is you're going to push the mozzarella into that. And then you're going to wrap around it with your hands. And then just how you make a meatball. Just put it between your hands, and there you go.

You're going to put these into the pan. You want to just make sure that you get enough of the meat mixture around the mozzarella ball so that it doesn't leak when you're baking it. And you may get a little bit of leakage, but don't worry about it. it's not a big deal. And I don't think you're going to need probably more than two per person, especially if you're having lots of things.

So we're going to put those into the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, and then we're going to dress them with the sauces.

Now, we've taken our meatballs out of the oven, and as you can see, they're delicious. They're nice and browned. And you can see this one had a little bit of a spillage. It leaked out a little bit. But they're perfectly browned. And what we've done here is in the plate, I have a marinara. I have a white Alfredo sauce, and pesto. So you're going to serve it with all three of these sauces.

So these are our caprese meatballs. We're going to take a couple of them out. Put them right onto the sauce. Right there. And then that way, you're going to get a taste of each individual sauce, which is really great. So we're going to slice one of these open. And inside, look at that. You have a nice little package with the prosciutto and the buffalo mozzarella. And then you can just take a little cut out of that.

And I'm just going to put it into the sauce. Of course we have to test it to make sure. Mm! This was a great idea. So it's just like a little meatball with a little surprise inside.

Caprese Stuffed Meatballs
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