Meatball Sandwiches with Spinach and Provolone

1 lb chicken Italian sausage
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
3 T olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
2 T fresh basil, chopped
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
10 oz fresh baby spinach, washed
1 French baguette
8 oz aged provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Shape Italian sausage into 1/8 cup balls (you will get 12-15 meatballs, by my count). Place meatballs on a parchment/silpat lined cookie sheet. Place into oven and bake for about 25 minutes (or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and beginning to brown). Raise oven temperature to 450º

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat 1 T olive oil in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add tomato sauce, basil, and oregano and mix well. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes so that the flavors have a chance to blend. Pour over meatballs and allow to simmer over low heat until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Heat remaining 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet (with a cover) over medium heat. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook briefly. Add baby spinach to skillet and toss to combine. If spinach is very dry, add a tablespoon or two of water to assist in the steaming process. Cover and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Slice baguette lengthwise, and then cut loaf into four pieces.
Place 1/4 of the spinach inside each sandwich. Top with 3-4 meatballs and additional sauce, if desired. Top with 1/4 of the provolone cheese. Place in 450º oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


We talk about this recipe HERE.