Italian Meatballs

Who doesn’t like good meatballs? I think most of you have never had one like these. I know I never had before I discovered this! I adapted this meatball recipe from one I saw in a book called The Food of Italy by Sophie Braimbridge. This book is amazing and I highly recommend it if you love Italian food!

My friend Chris, who come from a strong Italian background, told me that no meatball ever tasted like his grandmothers until he learned that she never mixed the meat; only used pork. Sounded like a great idea to me! This recipe is a great base to experiment with on your own too – switch out cheeses, greens, etc. I’ll leave some notes on what else I’ve done with it below.

Italian Meat Balls

Serves: 10Yield: 50 meatballs 
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
 

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground pork
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested
2 cups chopped flat leaf parsely
5 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese
  salt
  pepper

Meatball Ingredients

Directions:

Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Cook until transparent and starting to brown. Add minced garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Set to the side to cool.

Sweating onions

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, eggs, lemon zest, parsley, rosemary, fennel seeds, parmesan, and ricotta. blend together lightly. After onion and garlic has cooled, add to mixture and combine.

blending ingredientsblended ingredients

 Add ground pork. Season well with salt and pepper. Combine well. Place in refrigerator to chill well (this will make it easier to form the meat balls).

Adding meat to mixturemeatball mixture

Line baking sheet with foil. Form meat balls to about the size of a ping pong ball. Place close together on baking sheet in rows. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour until browned.

making meatballsmeatballs

Alternatively, you can cook the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil until browned on all sides, then finish cooking in a sauce of your choice over medium heat.

IMG_2103

Italian Meatballs

Italian Meat Balls
Serves 10
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds ground pork
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 2 medium onions, minced
  4. 8 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 lemons, zested
  8. 2 cups chopped flat leaf parsely
  9. 5 sprigs rosemary
  10. 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
  11. 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  12. 2 cups ricotta cheese
  13. salt
  14. pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Cook until transparent and starting to brown. Add minced garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Set to the side to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, eggs, lemon zest, parsley, rosemary, fennel seeds, parmesan, and ricotta. blend together lightly. After onion and garlic has cooled, add to mixture and combine. Add ground pork. Season well with salt and pepper. Combine well. Place in refrigerator to chill well (this will make it easier to form the meat balls).
  3. Line baking sheet with foil. Form meat balls to about the size of a ping pong ball. Place close together on baking sheet in rows. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour until browned.
  4. Alternatively, you can cook the meatballs in a skillet with olive oil until browned on all sides, then finish cooking in a sauce of your choice over medium heat.
  5. Serve with a red sauce.
Notes
  1. For different flavors, change the kinds of cheese. I've used feta and gorgonzola in the past. I've also changed the parsely out with kale and spinach. It changes the flavors and is simple to adjust to your own likings.
Adapted from The Food of Italy by Sophie Braimbridge
OINKCOOKING http://www.oinkcooking.com/
Italian Meatballs Dinner

NOTES: 

For different flavors, change the kinds of cheese. I’ve used feta and gorgonzola in the past. I’ve also changed the parsely out with kale and spinach. It changes the flavors and is simple  to adjust to your own likings.

These also freeze GREAT! Make ahead of time for a quick dinner, party appetizer, etc.

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