Italian sausage and shredded apple "meatballs" are delightful, sweet little appetizer bites, especially wonderful for fall and winter entertaining.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, combine sausage, red onion, shredded apple, garlic, bread crumbs and sage. Using your hands, mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed and mixture comes together.
Add olive oil to a cast-iron casserole dish, heating over medium heat. While olive oil heats, shape sausage-apple mixture into balls, about the size of golf balls or even a bit smaller.
When oil is hot, saute meatballs for 2-3 minutes, until browned. (You may need to work in batches.) Flip and saute for another few minutes. Rotate again, if needed, until meatballs are browned all over. (If working in batches, transfer browned meatballs to a plate and set aside. Continue browning remaining meatballs.)
When meatballs are all browned, return to pot, placing in a single layer if possible. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
This recipe yields 18-24 meatballs, depending on size.
If you don't have a heavy cast-iron casserole like the above (or another dish that can go from stove to oven) or if you're scaling this recipe to feed a crowd, meatballs can be baked on a baking sheet, covered with foil, for 20-25 minutes as well.