How freaking delicious does that look?! I mean, how could I NOT lead with this picture? This, my friends, is a meatball bake. Yes indeed! Hidden under all of that gloriousness are meatballs. Who would’ve known?!
Paleo confession time: I crave traditional comfort foods all the time. Seriously, ALL the time. For me, these foods are usually something really starchy, smothered in a red sauce and baked, or anything covered in Gravy. I’m German and Irish. We are gravy loving, potato smashing folks. I can’t deny my genetics, nor can I refuse these tasty, tasty foods. So I’ve tried desperately to find ways to satisfy these cravings….and since I’ve YET to find an epic gravy recipe that comes anywhere CLOSE to being Paleo, I usually go the smothered in red sauce route to feed my hungry soul.
Paleo Confession #2: I eat cheese. Sue me. Most of the time I shoot for raw milk or grassfed cheeses, but sometimes I don’t. Don’t care. If some cheese is going to bring me to an early death, bring it on!
So my friends, enjoy! And don’t judge me too harshly for the aforementioned confessions.
For the meatballs:
- 1.5 – 2 pounds ground beef
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup dried minced onion
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 heaping tablespoons of almond flour (can sub coconut flour, but cut to 2 tbsp)
- Spices to taste (salt, pepper, dried oregano)
For the sauce topping:
- 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- Freshly torn basil
- Grated cheese…..if that’s how you get down
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Get in there all down and dirty like with your hands and get after it.
- Roll into balls (I made mine bigger than walnut-sized) and place in a deep baking dish. You should be able to get around 16-20 meatballs out of the mixture.
- Bake meatballs uncovered for 25 minutes, or until they are browned on the outside.
- Remove from the oven and top with your chopped up artichoke hearts.
- Then layer on your two cans of fire-roasted tomatoes over the top.
- Put your dish back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
- When your sauce is bubbling like crazy and starting to brown around the edges, remove from oven.
- Top with your fresh torn basil and grated cheese and pop it back in the oven for 5 more minutes to melt.
- SMASH ON COMFORT FOOD GOODNESS!……after you’ve let it cool down first of course. It will come out hotter than the surface of the sun, and you don’t want to turn your mouth to lava. Safety first, friends. Safety first.
There it is peeps. Get after it! Fill your bellies with simple goodness. Make it happen. And live it up with your naughty paleo selves. 🙂
Peace, Love, and Paleo.