Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

1/3 pound ground beef

1/3 pound ground veal

1/3 pound ground pork*

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber