Quick, Easy -N- Fast Italian Meatballs In A Basket Recipe

2 lb. ground beef
2 T. margarine
1  green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
16 oz. stewed tomatoes
1/2 T. Basil
1/4 t. Thyme
2 T. Flour
1  Italian Bread Basket

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.

Italian Bread Basket:
1 loaf (16 oz.) Italian bread, unsliced
1/4 C. margarine, melted
1/4 C. parmesan cheese, grated

Cut a 3/4 inch 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 at 400F. for 10 minutes.

Note: Use precooked frozen meatballs and your favorite sauce to make this even quicker.


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