Pork, ricotta and lemon meatballs

Pork, ricotta and lemon meatballs

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Ricotta lends a creamy softness to the pork mince here. It also extends the quantity of meat. As nothing beats a cold meatball served the next day wedged in some crusty bread with some lettuce and tomato (and absolutely do add some of the quick pickled vegetables), don’t feel that all the meatballs need eating in the one sitting.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g minced pork
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large onion, 1/2 coarsely grated, 1/2 finely diced
1 lemon, grated zested and juiced
a small sprig fresh thyme, leaves roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
100g ricotta
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
100ml double cream or creme fraiche
pasta, to serve
parmesan cheese, to serve

Method

  1. Mix the pork, garlic, grated onion, lemon zest, thyme, fennel seeds, ricotta and breadcrumbs with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and lots of pepper. Form the mix into about 16 balls, about the size of a ping-pong ball.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan on a medium-high heat and add enough of the oil to fry the meatballs for about 7 minutes, turning a few times, until golden-brown all over (they should all fit in the pan, but cook them in batches if need be). Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  3. Add any remaining oil to the pan along with the diced onion and fry for 8–10 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the cream and about 80–100ml of cold water. Bring to a simmer, add the lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste, then add the meatballs and cook for a further 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Meanwhile cook some pasta – spaghetti or short and shapely – as per the packet instructions. Drain, then add the meatballs and sauce to the cooked pasta. Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.
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