Cheesy Beef & Pork Sausage Meatball Bake with Gnocchi & Spinach
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Cheesy Beef & Pork Sausage Meatball Bake

with Gnocchi & Spinach

45 MIN
+$5.50/serving 4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

INGREDIENT IN FOCUS
We’re using hot Italian pork sausage (along with ground beef) to form the meatballs, giving them incredibly moist texture and rich, lightly-spiced flavor.

TECHNIQUE TO HIGHLIGHT
If your oven has a broiler—a section of the oven that provides direct, intense heat—we’ve provided instructions to use it at the very end, allowing the layer of mozzarella to turn deliciously bubbly and golden brown.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    1130 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Cheesy Beef & Pork Sausage Meatball Bake with Gnocchi & Spinach
Title
  • 18 oz Ground Beef
  • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
  • 1 14.5-Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 17.6 oz Gnocchi
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 oz Arugula
  • 1 Watermelon Radish
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1¼ cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
  • 2 Small Baguettes
  • 2 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
Prepare the ingredients & make the garlic oil
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the garlic oil

Arrange two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place in a bowl; add half the Italian seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Halve the baguettes.

Form & bake the meatballs
2 Form & bake the meatballs

Lightly oil a sheet pan. In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 20 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to the oiled sheet pan. Place on the upper oven rack and bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven.

*An instant-read thermometer should register 160°F.

Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce
3 Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the gnocchi; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the sliced shallot, spinach, and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Assemble the casserole
4 Assemble the casserole

In a large baking dish, combine the baked meatballs and cooked gnocchi and sauce. Gently stir to combine. Evenly top with the mozzarella (tearing before adding).

Bake the casserole & garlic bread
5 Bake the casserole & garlic bread
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes on the foil, cut side up. Evenly spread or brush the garlic oil onto the cut sides of the baguettes. Place the garlic bread on the lower oven rack and toast 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Place the casserole on the upper oven rack and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil the casserole 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving.
Make the salad & serve your the dish
6 Make the salad & serve your the dish

Meanwhile, peel the radish; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the peppers.Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a large bowl, combine the sliced radish, chopped peppers, the juice of 2 lemon wedges (you will have extra), and a drizzle of olive oil. Just before serving, add the arugula; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the baked casserole with the salad and garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & make the garlic oil
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the garlic oil

Arrange two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place in a bowl; add half the Italian seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Halve the baguettes.

2 Form & bake the meatballs

Lightly oil a sheet pan. In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 20 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to the oiled sheet pan. Place on the upper oven rack and bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven.

*An instant-read thermometer should register 160°F.

Form & bake the meatballs
Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce
3 Cook the gnocchi & make the sauce

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the gnocchi; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add the sliced shallot, spinach, and remaining Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste then season with salt and pepper if desired.

4 Assemble the casserole

In a large baking dish, combine the baked meatballs and cooked gnocchi and sauce. Gently stir to combine. Evenly top with the mozzarella (tearing before adding).

Assemble the casserole
Bake the casserole & garlic bread
5 Bake the casserole & garlic bread
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the halved baguettes on the foil, cut side up. Evenly spread or brush the garlic oil onto the cut sides of the baguettes. Place the garlic bread on the lower oven rack and toast 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Place the casserole on the upper oven rack and bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil the casserole 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn). Remove from the oven. Let stand at least 2 minutes before serving.
6 Make the salad & serve your the dish

Meanwhile, peel the radish; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the peppers.Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a large bowl, combine the sliced radish, chopped peppers, the juice of 2 lemon wedges (you will have extra), and a drizzle of olive oil. Just before serving, add the arugula; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the baked casserole with the salad and garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your the dish
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