These meatballs will become your go-to appetizer for every occasion. They can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month before serving. If you're constantly waiting until the last minute to make appetizers, keep these on hand throughout the year.
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
3 cups beef broth
1/3 cup hot pepper jelly
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°. Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until chopped. Stir together panko, next 6 ingredients, and olive mixture in a large bowl until well combined. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls, and place 1 inch apart on aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pans.
Bake at 450° for 12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes. Add tomato paste to dry pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until paste begins to brown and coat bottom of pan. Increase heat to high, and add beef broth, stirring to loosen bits of tomato paste from bottom of pan. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in hot pepper jelly until combined. Reduce heat to low. Add cooked meatballs, and serve warm.
Note: Sauce may be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.