Mmmelty mozzarella meatballs

When it comes to some foods like stews and spaghetti sauce, I find that the longer you cook them, the better the flavour. It’s like the longer they simmer in the pot, the better the flavours get along with each other. A mixer, literally!  Only this one managed to get past the awkward small talk and first impressions. The longer the meat, the onions, the carrots, the spices, the tomatoes get stirred around each other, the mellower the flavour, the more melded together and complimentary the overall result becomes. Hardly homogenous like stirred yogurt, but harmonious like a well-rehearsed orchestra.

Humour me a second and think of the word mellow. There’s a sort of agreement in mellow things, don’t you think? A balance, an equanimity between different parts that allows them to co-exist without conflict. Now imagine if life were like a mellow pot of spaghetti …

Today on the train ride home, I was riding with someone who I didn’t particularly warm up to upon first impression. We were friendly, and made conversation, but I felt that she might talk both of our heads off and I wasn’t feeling up to matching her level. You know the situation? You have this impression of that person and then suddenly the train is delayed and you’re sitting next to her for an upward count of minutes. Instead of giving her the cold shoulder (which has gotta be pretty ice-solid if you’re sitting next to the person), I thought it might be a better idea to get to know her a bit more. Ask questions and talk less, is the adage that both my good friend and writing instructor give and lean their weight upon.

Sure enough, I was wrong and too quick to judge. Not that we are BFF, but mixing a little bit with this person and letting them show you who they are on their terms surprised me out of my pride. I won’t know what they’re like until I spend time with them. One thing I’ve found about Toronto – you never know who you’re going to meet. If life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re going to get, then someone may as well arrange the city map into an assorted chocolates legend.

But you can’t stir assorted chocolates and hope for a harmonious mellow pot. Toronto is also very mellow, but I find it to be cool and reserved all at the same time. So far, I think the cool and reserved persona is only an outward facade until you break that outer shell. Or maybe it’s with heat and mingling that you can break into the mellow centre.

Speaking of mellow centres, here’s one you can make in 30 minutes. And it involves melty mozzarella in a melded ball of meat!

Mozzarella-stuffed Meatball Recipe

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • half of an onion, diced
  • fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • mozzarella, shredded or cubed
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the cheese. Mix well.
  • Scoop out some of the meat mixture and make an indentation with the spoon for the cheese. Place a spoonful of shredded cheese or a single cube, and form some more meat overtop. Use your hands to shape into a ball.
  • Place all the stuffed meatballs into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

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