- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 4 ounces italian sausage, casings removed
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 8 shredded wheat crackers (like Triscuits), about 1½ ounces
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon basil (divided)
- 1 tablespoon vegatable oil
- 12 ounces spaghetti sauce (about 1½ cups)
- 1 french baguette, split in half lengthwise and then halfed crosswise (making 4 open-faced sandwiches)
- your favorite Italian dressing (I like the Good Seasons packets)
- 1 cup Shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
Mix together beef, sausage, spinach, crackers, eggs, and 1 tablespoon basil in a medium bowl until thoroughly integrated. Shape into 16 meatballs (I use a #40 disher). Heat a medium nonstick skillet (just large enough to hold all the meatballs in a single layer) with 1 tablespoon vegatable oil over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmery and just barely starting to smoke. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, turning frequently. Once the meatballs are brown all over, add spaghetti sauce and remaining basil and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Cover and keep warm.
Preheat the broiler. Slightly hollow out each piece of bread (save the removed bread, it makes good croutons or breadcrumbs). Put the bread under the broiler until lightly toasted. Remove bread from broiler and brush lightly with Italian dressing. Add 4 meatballs and sauce to each piece of bread. Sprinkle the sandwiches with the cheese and toast under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble. Serve immediately with salad or chips.