Pita Chips Crusted Tomato Basil Feta Meat Balls

  • Recipe courtesy of Hidemi Walsh, Finalist in the 2016 Nikos® "Wave of Flavor" recipe contest
  • Yield: 15-20 meatballs

    Ingredients

    Meatballs

  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausages, casing removed
  • 1/2 c. tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • all-purpose flour (to dredge meatballs)
  • 1/2 c. pita chips, finely crushed
  • canola oil, for frying meatballs
  • Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

    Directions

  • In a bowl, crumble Italian sausages then add black pepper and feta cheese and mix to combine. Shape the mixture into your desired meatball size.
  • Put flour into a shallow plate. Beat egg into another shallow bowl or plate. Put the crushed pita chips into another shallow plate. Dredge each meatball in flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with pita chips.
  • Heat enough oil to fry meatballs in a heavy skillet or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Work in several batches. When the oil gets hot, put some meatballs and fry until cooked through and golden brown (rolling the meatballs occasionally so that all sides are cooked evenly). Put meatballs on a paper towels lined plate to drain. Repeat this until all meatballs are fried.
  • Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomato ketchup, tomato paste, red wine, salt, brown sugar, dried basil, dried oregano and dried thyme to the saucepan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve meatballs with the sauce.