1/2 cup good quality dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 pound Italian fontina or mozzarella cheese cut into 8 small pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Put the bread crumbs into a medium bowl and pour the cream over them. Mix with a fork, the mixture will not be soupy.
2. Add the ground chuck, sirloin and salt and pepper. Mix with a fork or your hands-hands just to combine the ingredients. Divide the mixture into 8 different pieces and roll them into eight equal pieces and roll each in the palm of your hand to make compact 2 1/2 inch balls.
3. Insert your thumb into the middle of each meatball and push in a piece of cheese. Close the meatball, encasing the cheese, and smooth the top.
4. Place the meatballs on a rimmed, non-stick baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Serve hot as is, or add them to a tomato sauce and serve them with pasta or as a second course.

Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito, Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites, 2010.
Polpettoni al Formaggio, otherwise known as Cheesy Meatballs, is Mary Ann Espositio’s suggested recipe for your holiday entertaining from her latest cookbook – “Five-Ingredient Favorites.” This is Mary Ann’s answer to the question; Can you make a better tasting meatball? Absolutely! Just stuff them with a creamy, melting cheese, like Italian fontina! This might be a slightly unconventional way to make them, but the taste elevates the meatballs to elegant; they can be served alone or with a sauce. To achieve great flavor use a combination of ground chuck and ground sirloin. The fat in ground chuck is essential for moistness while the sirloin provides great texture.

Authenticity, history, tradition. Those three words define Mary Ann Esposito and the signature cooking style that has made her one of America's most loved television chefs.

As the creator and host of the nationally televised PBS series, Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™, Mary Ann has brought those values to millions of Americans. This year, the series celebrates its milestone 21st season, making it the longest running cooking series in television history. You can view Mary Ann's shows, get recipes and buy her books at her web site -
Cheesy Meatballs
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