Old-fashioned Italian Raisin Meatballs (perfect for busy school nights!)

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Tonight I want to share my favorite quick school night meals!

First up is Raisin Mealballs.  
Ok- I know what you are thinking:  Raisin Meatballs?  Quick?  Tasty?….. Really?    YES!

Raisins?  In meatballs?  I promise- you just have to try it to understand it!    This is my go-to meal on nights when we are busy with school and sports.   I love to make it because everyone in our family loves it, everyone eats it quickly (because it so good) and everyone is happy!   Plus, I can also send the left over raisins in the kid’s lunch boxes the next morning!

My great grandma was an Irish woman and she married my great grandfather, an Italian man. ¬†At that time, it just wasn‚Äôt done ‚Äď marrying¬†outside of your nationality or religion. ¬† ¬†They broke those ‚Äėrules‚Äô¬†‚Ķ¬†and married at¬†fourteen years of age!¬† ¬† My great grandma, Geraldine, had to learn to cook all of the Italian foods that my Great Grandfather, Guyton, loved so much.

When they were older, with children (she had her first son at 19), he told his wife that she ‚ÄúCooked better than any Italian woman he‚Äôd ever met.‚ÄĚ

Her signature dish was pasta with raisin meatballs.   She would make this for us every time that we would visit.  It is so good!  I have carried on the tradition with my own family.   She always watched her money, so I think that adding raisins was a way for her to stretch her dollar and add a little flavor.   Raisins are a great value.  According to the USDA, raisins are the most economical dried fruit.

Here is the recipe:

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup fresh or day old white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (tip: we keep ours in the freezer!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
1/4 cup California Raisins
Optional:  My husband has added this to the recipe & I love it: 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

TIP:  I buy California Raisins, because they are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit.  I like to know that I can send the leftover snacks with our kids as they head back to school.  I also get the little boxes to throw in my purse and the kids can snack on them on the way to sports practice.
The ingredient list says it all: Raisins.

Here are a few more quick meals for your busy school night…

BBQ wings

Chicken Spaghetti

Or my favorite, Weight Watcher Soup (below)


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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