Monday, May 24, 2010

How 'Bout a Meatball Casserole?!

(Photo: Timothy O'Toole's Gurnee)

Since lasagna can get rather boring, Timothy O'Toole's Gurnee chef Sean O'Brien decided to put his own spin on the classic Italian dish 12 years ago.

He created a Meatball Casserole that comes layered with giant meatballs (the size of softballs!), marinara, pasta and cheese. It's only available at the Gurnee location (Streeterville used to serve it), so if that's too far for you to travel, he's generously given us the recipe:

Meatball Recipe

3 lbs Ground Chuck
1 lb Ground Pork
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
4 Eggs
2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 tbsp Minced Parsley
2 tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
4 cups Breadcrumbs
3 cups Lukewarm Water
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Marinara Sauce

Combine beef, pork, garlic, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper; blend. Add breadcrumbs and blend. Slowly add water about 3/4 of a cup at a time until mixture is very moist, but still holds shape. Form into large ball about the size of a fist. Heat oil in large rondelle and fry meatballs turning to brown on all sides. Drain onto paper towels. When finished browning all meatballs, drain the rondelle of excess oil. Place meatballs back in rondelle and fill to cover with marinara. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool, wrap, label and date.

Meatball Casserole Recipe

1 Meatball
6 Pasta Sheets
4 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
4 oz. Ricotta Cheese
3 oz. Parmesan Cheese
6 oz. Marinara
Salt and Pepper

Line rarebit dishes with marinara and slice meatball into 6 slices. Layer with pasta, cheese, & meatball slices. Salt & pepper each layer as you go. Finish with mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese and sauce are melted and bubbling. Serve.

Hey, if you cannot get to the The Meatball Shop, now you can make some at home!


Simon said...

This is classic Comfort food,for colder months not summer

312 Dining Diva said...

True, but we have some days like last year's summer, believe me when I say I will be seeking this out. ;)