Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weeknight Meatball Sandwiches with Provolone

It was a busy weeknight and I was hurrying to try to pull something together for dinner after a very long day. I knew I had some frozen meatballs in the freezer, so I thought I would do a really simple meatball sandwich with a jarred marinara. However, when I went to the pantry, there was no sauce to be found. Never fear! A quick and healthy marinara was on the way. The great thing is that the end result is healthier, tastier, and thicker than anything from a store. So next time you are in a pinch, give these quick meatball sandwiches a try.

1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Minced Onion
1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
14.5 ounces (volume) Canned Diced Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Sugar
18 Small, Frozen Meatballs 
4 Sandwich Rolls
4 Slices Provolone Cheese
2 teaspoons Grated Parmesan, divided

Note: I used my Entertaining Meatballs for this recipe. I always make a large batch and then have them on hand in the freezer for nights like this one. You can definitely use a store bought meatball, but I just love to make my own because I can control the seasoning and ingredients.

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add the salt, Italian seasoning, red and black pepper. Sautee for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and sugar to the pan. Stir to thoroughly combine. 
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. 
4. Add the frozen meatballs. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. 
5. Using the edge of your spatula, carefully cut the meatballs in half (if desired). Stir and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
6. While the sauce is finishing, toast the buns in the broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching carefully. You just want the inside of the buns to get slightly golden. Remove and set aside until ready to assemble.
7. To assemble the sandwiches, spoon 1/4 of the sauce and meatballs over the bottom of a bun. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon parmesan and top with 1 slice of provolone. Place the sandwich halves back under the broiler for 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with the toasted upper bun.
8. Serve and enjoy!

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