On Tuesday I told you guys about my busy weekend and my quest to reorganize and declutter but I didn’t even scratch the surface of how productive we were. My sick fella managed to run some errands with me on Saturday after his dose of DayQuil kicked in, and our first stop out was lunch.
We went to the sandwich shop Capriotti’s. It was close to a number of the places we needed to stop, and I knew I could get something small. Well, I could eat half of the small meal. It was a late lunch, around 2pm, and I had dinner reservations at 5:45 with my mom. While we don’t typically eat that early, we were going to the theatre at 7:30 so our choices were an early dinner or super late dinner. And if I’m being honest with myself 10:45pm was going to be way too late to wait and eat. I’ve never been hangry at the theatre and didn’t intend to start this weekend. My mom and the stranger next to me didn’t need to be a part of that. So an early dinner it was!
But when we stopped at Capriotti’s Dylan ordered their meatball sandwich. I was curious how it was; my experience with meatball sandwiches is typically poor. I want to like them. They have all the makings of everything I like – meatballs – good. Marinara – good. Cheese – good. Bread – good. But they always seem to fall short. They’re always plain and boring; completely missing something.
Making food in mass quantities is a skill and I give mad props to caterer’s, restaurant chef’s, and everyone that has to cook for groups of people. It’s not easy. And those that get it right are crazy on point. But there is just something about a restaurant meatball sandwich that kinda sorta sucks.
I get this urge to run back to their kitchen, grab some simple Italian seasonings and show them – see, look how good this is now! So after asking Dylan how his meatball sandwich was and hearing him say “Meh, it’s okay. Kind of boring.” I got to thinking I need to fix this injustice that is being done to meatball sandwiches.
Of course I was going to make some adjustments and make it into a bowl meal. I often wonder if the problem with meatball sandwiches isn’t just the lack of seasoning for flavor, but also if there is perhaps too much bread. Is everything getting soaked up into the doughy bread goodness? I mean, I know that lots of people love themselves some Subway bread, but is it too much for this particular sandwich?
I wanted the meatball to be the star of this show. I didn’t want the marinara and seasonings melting into the soft underbelly of the bread, so I decided that slices of french bread would be better. You still have that base of bread to pair with the meatball or soak up the extra marinara at the end, but it lets the meatball stand out on it’s own.
Adding lots of seasonings and packing pepper jack cheese into the meatball was just the kick that these meatballs needed. You can taste the flavor and mini-spice of the pepper jack in every bite, and coupled with the softness of the marinara it’s the perfect balance of meatball, marinara and bread, without sacrificing flavor.
This meatball sandwich bowl meal is the perfect cozy meal you can snuggle up with on a weekend night, and if you end up with extra meatballs you can freeze them or save them for leftovers (if you’re in to leftovers; some people are picky about those).
On a side note, if you’re like me and weren’t into the whole line thing for Black Friday but want some good deals then check out my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. I have gifts for the host/hostess in your life, stocking stuffer ideas, cookbooks, practical kitchen gadgets and big ticket items; plenty of gift ideas at affordable price points for the foodie, home cook or chef in your life! Plus I’m still getting emails from all of my favorite shops still giving me discounts. Maybe they’re not Cyber Monday discounts, but everything still seems to be on some sort of sale.
I hope you enjoy this dish, and I’d love to hear what you think if you try it! You can find me not only here on the blog, but also on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and be sure to subscribe to the blog to stay up-to-date on the latest recipes!
Yields 2 bowls
20 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 1 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
- 1/2 c. Italian-style dry breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. almond milk
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan
- 1/2 c. shredded pepper jack
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 c. marinara sauce
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan
- 1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 loaf of french bread, cut into slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs and form into 12-14 large meatballs and place on baking sheet, making sure the meatballs aren't touching.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking heat the marinara in a small saucepan over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- When the meatballs are done (keep the oven heated!) divide 6 into each bowl then pour half the marinara over each bowl of meatballs.
- Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese onto each bowl, then half the grated parmesan onto each bowl.
- Put each bowl onto a baking sheet and put them back into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and serve with french bread slices. Enjoy!