• Colombo® Marsala and Apricot Glazed Meatball Sub

    1 vote
    Food bloggers from across the country were approached for this competition, and I was chosen to be one of 12 finalists to compete in the 3rd Annual Colombo Marsala & Toscana Saporita Recipe Challenge! This means that Colombo provided me with their marsala wines and compensated me for my groceries needed to create an original and innovative recipe using their marsala wine as a featured ingredient. Cool! I can do this! When I think of marsala, I think of very traditional recipes like chicken or veal marsala. I certainly wanted to do something different yet I didn’t want anything that was too intimidating for the average cook. I love sandwiches. They’re fun to make and can be very tasty. This marsala-focused recipe takes the average meatball sub to a whole new level that even the novice cook can create successfully. The real gem here is the glaze. The combination of the Colombo Sweet Marsala with apricots and beef broth created a complex sauce that could hold up to the hearty flavor of the meatballs while imparting a delicately sweet shadow to the savory main ingredient. I hope you’ll take a moment to vote by visiting plus on each of the 12 days, a voter will receive a Colombo Gift Pack and a $50 gift card!


    • Peppers:
    • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienned
    • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and julienned
    • 1 medium red onion, peeled and halved and cut into 1/8-inch-thick halved rounds
    • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) olive oil
    • Meatballs:
    • 1 pound of lean ground beef (I used 90/10)
    • 1 pound of ground pork
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) oatmeal (or bread crumbs)
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) shredded parmesan cheese (not the grated kind in the green container)
    • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) Colombo® Dry Marsala wine
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon (1/6 ounce) salt
    • 1 teaspoon (1/6 ounce) dried Herbes de Provence
    • 1 teaspoon (1/6 ounce) fresh thyme (or 1/3 tsp of dried thyme)
    • Glaze:
    • 2 cups (16 ounces) Colombo® Sweet Marsala wine
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) beef broth
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) apricot jam or preserves
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) black pepper
    • Brussels Sprouts:
    • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of olive oil
    • Sub rolls:
    • 4 sub/hoagie/Italian rolls (about 6 inches long each)
    • 12 slices of provolone cheese
    • 1 cup ricotta cheese, divided


    1. Preheat oven to 350º
    2. For the peppers and onions:
    3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
    4. Add bell peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 8 minutes.
    5. Add a splash of Columbo® Sweet Marsala wine and cook for about 1-2 minutes more.
    6. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside until assembly.
    7. For the meatballs:
    8. Combine all listed meatball ingredients (ground beef through thyme) until evenly mixed, being careful not to overwork the mixture as that can make the meatballs tough.
    9. Form into balls about 2” in diameter (using an ice cream scoop helps to keep all meatballs uniform in size).
    10. Place on baking pan and bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in the center.
    11. For the Colombo® Marsala-apricot glaze:
    12. Combine all listed glaze ingredients (Colombo® Sweet Marsala wine through black pepper) in a high-sided sauté pan and cook on medium heat, stirring often.
    13. Once meatballs are finished in oven, add to skillet and toss in sauce as it continues to thicken, removing from heat once the sauce has reached a thick, syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes.
    14. For the Brussels sprouts:
    15. Discard any brown or yellow outer leaves of sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
    16. With the cut side down, thinly slice sprouts working from top towards stem discarding stem. You can also do this in a food processor with the slicing blade.
    17. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.
    18. Add shredded Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring frequently, until sprouts begin to brown and become crisp, 4-5 minutes.
    19. Add a splash of Columbo® Sweet Marsala wine and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
    20. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside until assembly.
    21. Set oven to broil.
    22. For the sub rolls:
    23. Slice sub roll lengthwise, almost in half, leaving one side attached.
    24. Spread a thick layer (about 1/4 cup) of ricotta on top half.
    25. Place 2-3 slices of provolone cheese on bottom half.
    26. Broil on high until cheese is melted, 2-4 minutes, and remove from oven.
    27. To assemble the sub:
    28. Place peppers and onions onto the bottom half of roll.
    29. Slice meatballs in half and place on top of peppers, slightly overlapping each half with the next.
    30. Spoon any remaining glaze on top of meatball halves.
    31. Top with the shaved Brussels sprouts.

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