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Pork and Ricotta Meatballs

These meatballs are delicious and delicate – perfect for stirring through pasta, on top of rice or with a crusty baguette. See our tomato sauce recipe on the right, or just use 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, though this will take longer to reduce in the oven. This recipe comes from the A16 Kitchen by way of Anna Coloqhoun. 

Makes 24 large or 72 small meatballs

1. Heat the oven to 200°C. In a food processor, pulse the bread to coarse crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl and add the pork, pancetta, eggs, ricotta, parsley, oregano, fennel seeds, chilli and several pinches of salt. Mix well.

2. To check the seasoning, fry a small patty quickly and taste. Add more salt if needed.
3. Shape the mix into 72 small meatballs, using 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture for each. (Alternatively make 24 big meatballs using 3 rounded tablespoons in each.) Transfer the meatballs to an oiled roasting dish.

4. Roast meatballs in oven for 15-30 minutes (depending on their size), or until firm and just beginning to brown.
5. Using a spatula, loosen meatballs from bottom of dish. Add tomato sauce to the dish. Lower oven temperature to 160°C and bake for 1 hour, or until sauce is very thick and meatballs are very tender; turn the meatballs once or twice during cooking.

6. Transfer the meatballs and tomato sauce to a large platter. Garnish with the cheese and basil and serve hot.