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2 slices white bread

½ cup milk

½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

¾ cup + 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

1 tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

1-pound ground beef 

1-pound ground pork

2 eggs, beaten

16 small mozzarella balls

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2-pounds pizza dough (dough for 2 pizzas – recipe below or store-bought)

1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

4 tablespoons butter

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped


Pizza Dough

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons to oil the bowl)

1 tablespoon honey

1 ½ cups warm water (115-120 degrees)

1 packet yeast

2 teaspoons salt

3 ½ – 4 cups flour


Tear the bread into small pieces and cover with milk in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.

Combine the breadcrumbs, ¾ cup of the parmesan, and all of the herbs and spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Place the ground beef and pork in a large bowl with the eggs.  Mix with your hands until meats are just combined.  Add the dry ingredients along with the milk-soaked bread, and gently massage all of the ingredients together until combined. Do not overmix.

Using a small ice cream scoop to get uniform size, scoop out a portion of the meatball mixture and place one mozzarella ball in the center of the meat and form the meat around it.  Roll into a ball.  Repeat with the rest of the mixture and mozzarella.

Pan sear the balls in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until browned on all sides.  Let cool to room temperature.

Cut each of the 1-pound pizza dough into 8 equal parts.  Take one piece of dough and flatten to a dish. Place about 1 teaspoon of sauce in the center of the dough and place a meatball on top.  Stretch the dough around the meatball, sealing the edges tightly.  Place seam-side-down in a cast iron skillet that has been rubbed with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Repeat with the remaining dough and meatballs.  Cover the skillet with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the uncovered skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  While it bakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic and parsley.  Cook for one minute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant.

Remove the skillet from the oven after 15 minutes and brush the garlic butter all over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan over the top.  Bake for 5 minutes more until golden. Let rest for 10 minutes and then dig in!!  Serve with warmed spaghetti sauce on the side.


Pizza Dough

Place olive oil, honey, and water into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir to dissolve honey into the water (so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl).  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid mixture, stir, and let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast becomes foamy.  Add salt and 2 ½ cups of the flour.  Mix using the dough hook attachment.  Gradually add as much of the remaining flour as needed until a ball forms.  Empty dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic adding flour as needed if sticky.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until doubled in bulk.  Knead dough briefly and divide into 2 equal parts and form balls.  Let rest for 30 minutes under a clean kitchen towel.   

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