Italian Meatballs In A Basket

Course : Beef
Serves: 8
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Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons margarine
1 medium green pepper -- chopped
1 medium onion -- chopped
16 ounces stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 package ital bread basket
---GARNISHES---
1 medium green peppr rings
1 pint cherry tomatoes
 

Preparation / Directions:

Lightly shape ground beef into 1 1/2-inch balls. Lightly brown balls in margarine in large frying-pan, about 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and onion to meatballs; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid. Add tomatoes, all but 1/4 c tomato liquid, basil and thyme to meat balls. Cover tightly and cook slowly 5 minutes. Combine reserved tomato liquid with flour, stirring until smooth. Stir into meatballs, cover tightly and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Meanwhile prepare Italian Bread Basket and place on platter. Spoon meatball mixture into and around bread. Garnish with green pepper rings and cherry tomatoes, if desired. Italian Bread Basket: 1 Loaf (16 ozs) Italian Bread, Unsliced 1/4 Cup Margarine, Melted 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated Cut a 3/4 slice from top of bread. With fork, scoop out inside of bread to form basket, leaving 1-inch bread on all sides and bottom of loaf. Place loaf on foil in shallow baking pan. Brush top, sides and inside of bread with melted margarine. Sprinkle loaf with Parmesan cheese, coating sides evenly. Bake in hot oven (400 Degrees F.) for 10 minutes.


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