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"Tonight we're just making a simple meatball supper with a cherry tomato sauce and some charred naan," says Rach. "Instead of spaghetti and meatballs, it's meatballs and bread!" She likes to serve the meatballs and sauce on the bread with za'atar and yogurt, like a sandwich. YUM! 

Pro Tip from Rach: If you're gluten-free, don't skip the meal—just skip the naan. The meatballs can be made with ground beef, lamb, pork, veal, chicken or turkey, but try to use a combo of at least two. If you'd like to prepare your own za'atar, Rachael's blend yields about 1 cup and keeps for a few months in a tight container in a cool place. Stir together 4 tablespoons sumac, 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons dried thyme, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground coriander and 1 tablespoon Urfa chili. 

For more meatball inspiration, check out Rach's Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs and Porcupine Meatballs


For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, red or red and yellow and orange combined, halved  
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups passata
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • A few leaves of torn basil or 2 or 3 sprigs of tarragon
  • Salt and a pinch of sugar, to taste
For the Meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground meat: beef, lamb, pork, veal, chicken or turkey (your choice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups cooked cold white rice
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 cup chopped herbs, packed: chives, dill, parsley and/or cilantro and mint
  • 1 cup pecorino Romano cheese
  • Non-aerosol olive oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons za'atar (store-bought or homemade; see Tip)
  • 4 garlic naan, grilled to package directions
  • Yogurt, to pass at table


Serves: 4


For the sauce, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Premium RUST-RESISTANT™ Cast Iron Skillet

Premium RUST-RESISTANT™ Cast Iron Skillet

Rachael Ray

Add olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and oregano and cook until brown at edges and slumped. Add passata and bone broth, basil or tarragon, salt and sugar to taste. Keep warm at low simmer.       

Reduce heat to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.  

For the meatballs, season meat with salt and pepper, add rice, egg, garlic, onion, herbs and cheese and combine. Roll 2 ½ inch meatballs and arrange on baking sheet. Spray with oil and bake to lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce, simmer 5 minutes and top with za'atar. Serve with bread and yogurt.