So I know I SAID "no more substitutions"...
But I could not make this week's recipe without substituting. I was short on time tonight and didn't have time to come up with a plan B after I got to the store and realized Safeway did not have all the elements I needed. The recipe calls for ground chicken but I could only find ground turkey, and it also calls for "small boccacinni"--which is spelled wrong--and all I could find were mozzarella balls. They worked perfectly, in my opinion.
Also, at the moment, I cannot upload my pics for some reason. When I inserted the SD card, all the sudden my laptop said, "You must configure" something... Boo. It's probably better, though, because the sauce ended up looking...already consumed. And since I can't find where I got this recipe from in the first place, I can't even copy the photo that I have on my page to show you what it's SUPPOSED to look like. Author's note: I finally was able to upload a photo. It's at the foot of the article. Look ONLY if you must.
Excuses aside, this dish was fun. The house smells amazing. I was a little worried that my soft mozzarella-stuffed meatballs were going to de-ball when I was trying to brown them, but instead they just got a little warped, so it all worked out. I'd say the execution was fairly simple, although I SHOULD have made the sauce first. *makes note on recipe*
As far as the taste goes, it was fine if you like bold Italian flavor. It's got cayenne, which gave it a nice kick and the Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs made a subtle difference in the meat. The taste could have been improved in 2 ways: by using a half teaspoon less of oregano and by not adding the herb and garlic cream cheese to the sauce. I'd much rather have had just a tomato sauce. (Note: I did test a meatball and spaghetti with some jarred marinara, and I didn't like it. Too many things going on. If you don't want to make your own sauce, then just get stewed or diced tomatoes and add some salt and pepper.)
DOH! I just realized I forgot salt and pepper in my sauce! Oh well...guess I didn't need it. Anyway, I'll keep trying to upload my photos and will post an update if I get one.
At the end of the day, I'd say give this one a shot! It's simple, and there's something satisfying about stuffing and serving your own handmade meatballs. :^}
P.S. I imagine this concept would work just fine with your own favorite meatball recipe, too. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!