Italian Sausage and Spinach Meatballs

by Meat

I adapted this recipe from The Frugal Gourmet cookbook by Jeff Smith. It really is easier to do on the smoker/grill than on the stove top. I’m sure they’d do just fine in a hot oven too. We have fun with them every time. My son Sam calls them “Meteors.”


2 pounds Italian sausage
10 ounces Frozen spinach, chopped; thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; grated
1/2 pound ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cloves garlic;
minced 1 onion ; chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white wine


Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can. Combine all ingredients except wine and oil. Shape into one-inch balls. Brown the meatballs on all sides in olive oil. [See Note below.] Add wine to pan. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes.

If you’d rather, these will cook up just fine in the oven.

[Note:] I did these once when I didn’t have ricotta cheese. I added one cube of Swiss cheese to each meatball. Then I grilled them over indirect heat with hickory chips added to the fire. When smoking on the grill, skip the browning. Just place raw meat balls on indirect grill heat, and cook until done. (About 45 minutes at 350) These turned out delicious!

Another note: We did these last night, and my son wrapped each ball with a strip of bacon. Nice touch. Also, we put a chunk of Mexican Queso Fresco in each one. Very nice.

(November, 17, 2013):  Made up this recipe tonight and formed into three small loaves. I put two of them in the Nuwave Oven (on the lower rack), and cooked them in 12 minute increments. After the 3rd twelve minutes, they were done. We let them sit for five minutes before serving.

(April 5, 2014): Made these for dinner with Sherry, Sam, and his friend, Sebastian. I used oatmeal as a filler ( I do that sometimes.). What I didn’t know is that a few raisins had fallen in the tub of oatmeal and made their way into a couple of my meat balls. VERY tasty!