Beef, raw rice, onion and Italian seasoning come together in this simple weeknight dinner of porcupine meatballs. Where'd the name come from? While the meatballs bake, the grains of rice pop out and look incredibly similar to porcupine quills. Simmer the meatballs in a quick homemade tomato sauce for a delicious, family-friendly dish.
Use your hands to mix the ground beef, egg, onion, rice, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Roll the meat mixture into 24 balls (each about 2 heaping tablespoons and 1 inch in diameter).
Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the meatballs and cook until lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir in the tomato puree, ketchup, remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper until the sauce is combined and meatballs are well coated.
Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through and no longer pink, the rice is tender and poking out and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 50 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and top with more chopped parsley.
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