Cheesy Baked Meatballs in Marinara

Includes Frankie’s Marinara Sauce Recipe

Who doesn’t love meatballs? I’d venture to say that some vegetarians have dreams about them. I made dozens and dozens of them trying to get this recipe perfect. We had spaghetti with meatballs, meatball sandwiches, meatballs in the refrigerator, meatballs in the freezer. But all this hard work paid off. This is one of the best meatballs you are ever going to eat, even better than your Italian Nana makes (but don’t tell her—you might hurt her feelings—or she might have your cousin Guido come after me).

You can serve these as an appetizer, a main dish, or served over pasta. They are perfect for those on a Keto diet, either as is, or served atop a pasta substitute. For this presentation I topped them with small rounds of provolone cheese. You can forgo the cheese if desired or simply top with shredded mozzarella or provolone.

KETO DIETERS: Simply replace the bread in the recipe with a low-carb or Keto bread.

Making homemade meatballs is easier than you think, and quite fun!

I prefer my meatballs baked, though you may pan fry them in oil if you prefer, which will yield a darker, crustier exterior. A mini muffin pan is ideal for baking, providing even cooking. If you do not have one, a baking sheet works fine.

Once you get your meatballs in the oven it’s time to make your marinara. It’s really simple, but feel free to use your favorite jarred sauce.

After the meatballs and sauce are ready, it’s simply a matter of adding the meatballs to the sauce and topping them with cheese. I recommend using a half-quantity of my Marinara recipe. Save the rest for pasta or some other use. It freezes beautifully.

The last step is to place the cheesy meatballs under the broiler to melt and slightly brown the cheese. Aren’t they a thing of beauty?

Cheese Meatball Recipe:

Marinara Recipe:

Buon appetito! 

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Grazie mille!

Strawberries in Moscato wine… easiest dessert ever, and so delicious!

Talk about a simple, yet delicious dessert! I’ll give this one the prize.

BEST WITH FRESH SEASONAL BERRIES!  Strawberry season is upon us.  You can get very good berries in the stores… even better in the farmer’s markets… and even better if you grow them yourself or go to a u-pick farm and pick them yourself!  Strawberries bought outside of season lack the sweet, juicy flavors of high-season berries.  But also be aware that there are types of strawberries which ripen later in the summer.  These can often be found in your local farmer’s market.



Strawberries at Redmond Saturday Market

I RECOMMEND ORGANIC BERRIES:  I like to know that my strawberries are either organic or that they are grown without pesticides.  The reason is little critters love strawberries too so pesticides are often sprayed directly on the berries, and do not wash off easily.  This is why they are listed #1 in the Dirty Dozen list… fruits and vegetables which should not be eaten unless they are organically grown.

Strawberries ripening in Frankie’s garden

MOSCATO D’ASTI is a sweet, sparkling, low-alcohol wine from the area of Asti in Piedmont. It is made from the Moscato (Muscat) grape and is wonderful for an apéritif or a “not too sweet” dessert wine. Pour it over some fresh sliced strawberries and top with whipped cream and anybody will be impressed!



  • If you like your whipped cream even a little richer and firmer, try adding some mascarpone cheese to it (that’s what I did here). It makes a good thing taste even better.
  • I left the traditional vanilla out of my whipped cream so as not to compete with the Moscato flavors.

Below is the recipe.  If you’d prefer the recipe in a PDF click here… Strawberries in Moscato Recipe

Buon appetito!  May God bless your table with good health and his abundant love!



Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I obscounded this recipe from a cook book and made a few changes which I thought improved upon them.  I tend to think of hazelnuts as an Italian ingredient… probably because Nutella comes from Italy.  The Italians do indeed use a lot of hazelnuts but I’m not so sure we’d find cookies like these in an Italian bakery. Nonetheless they are rather outstanding.

If you love hazelnuts like I do, you’ll adore these cookies. They are addictive!  The hazelnuts are not mixed into the dough in this recipe but rather pressed onto the exterior of the dough ball. I love the appearance this gives and the way the nuts are roasted to full flavor. It is best if you refrigerate the dough overnight, or prep the dough in the morning and bake in the afternoon.

Hazelnut-Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe