1/3cupwater(I like to swish it around in the empty tomato can before adding)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1cupshredded Provolonemozzarella or Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Make meatballs by combining all the meatball ingredients except the Provolone and mixing well. Scoop out 1/4-cup of the mixture and form into large meatballs. Press a cube of cheese into the centre of the meatball and re-form the meatball so the cheese if fully encased. Place into greased oven-safe skillet (cast-iron is perfect!). You should get about 12 large meatballs.
Place skillet with meatballs into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the fat has rendered off the meatballs.
While meatballs are baking, prepare the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients (including the pasta) and mixing together. Set aside.
Remove meatballs from oven and spoon off and discard the fat in the skillet. Pour sauce mixture overtop of the meatballs and spread in and around the meatballs as best you can. Cover the skillet tightly with foil and return to the oven. REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 350F and bake, covered for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the foil and return to the oven to bake, uncovered, until sauce thickens nicely and pasta is tender, about 40-45 minutes. If desired, sprinkle a bit of shredded provolone, mozzarella on top to melt for the last few minutes of baking.
Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes to set, before spooning out into serving bowls. Top with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.
1. You will need to use a small, tube pasta, to ensure it will cook up nicely in the sauce. Tubetti or ditalini work well. Macaroni may work, though I haven't tested it.Be sure to read the Ingredient and Cook's Notes above the Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe. You will also find Step-by-Step photos, as well.