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Basil Leaf Meatballs

Basil Leaf Meatballs
(Makes up to 8 Appetizers)

1 lb bulk pork sausage                          1 tsp crushed fennel seeds                    ½ cup minced fresh basil leaves
24 large fresh basil leaves                   8 bamboo skewers


Soak 8 bamboo skewers in hot water to cover for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, thoroughly mix sausage, minced basil, and fennel seeds.  Shape into about 1-inch balls (you should have 24).  Wrap a basil leaf around each meatball, lightly pressing it into meat so it sticks (leaf does not have to cover entire meatball).  Thread 3 to 5 meatballs on each skewer.  Place on a greased grill 2 to 4 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (or under the broiler).  Cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until no longer pink in center when cut (about 10 minutes).

Alternative Turkey Meatballs:  Follow directions above but substitute 1 lb ground turkey for sausage.  Do not grill; instead, place skewers on rimmed baking sheet.  Bake in a 450ºF oven, turning once, cook until meat is no longer pink in the center when cut (about 8 minutes).

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