We are very big fans of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country! Their recipes are well tested, tasted, and spot on! However, they can also be a little bit time intensive. So...a little tweaking in the kitchen was needed. I can't find the original recipe online without needing a membership to get it (hubby has a subscription -- get yours HERE!) so I'll just share the tweaked recipe with you!
Photo credit: Cook's Country -- go here to subscribe!
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (we use the kind in the shaker bottle) - divided
2 large eggs
1 T. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
3 sticks mozzarella string cheese
32 oz. jar pasta sauce (we used 1 quart homemade pasta sauce)
2 T. olive oil
Pasta -- whatever kind you like
Combine panko, 1/2 cup parmesan, eggs, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add pork and beef and knead with your hands until incorporated into panko mixture. (Do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough.) Using 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, divide meat mixture into 15-ish portions and place on plate.
Cut mozzarella sticks crosswise into 15 3/4 inch cubes. Place 1 mozzarella cube into the center of each meat portion and pinch meat around cheese to close. Roll meat between wet hands to form completely sealed meatball. (This can be done up to 24 hours before cooking...just cover and place in the refrigerator.)
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add meatballs and cook until browned on 1 side, about 3 minutes. Flip meatballs and cook until browned on opposite side, about 3 minutes. Drain all but 1 Tablespoon-ish fat from skillet.
Pour pasta sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Flip meatballs so second browned side is up. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve with pasta.