Ricotta Meatballs

Photo by Debbie R.
Adapted from bhg.com

PREP TIME

40

minutes

TOTAL TIME

65

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

PREP TIME

40

minutes

TOTAL TIME

65

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

Adapted from bhg.com

Ingredients

  • 1

    large yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1/4

    cup minced garlic (about 2 heads)

  • 3

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 2

    eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 1/2

    pounds 80% lean ground beef

  • 1

    cup grated Grana Padano cheese (2 ounces)

  • 1

    15 ounce carton whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 1

    cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1/2

    cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

  • 1/2

    cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/4

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

  • Shaved Grana Padano cheese (optional)

  • Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce:

  • 2

    ounces pancetta, chopped (optional)

  • 1/3

    cup finely chopped onion (1 small)

  • 4

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1

    tablespoon olive oil

  • 2

    pounds fresh roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3 cups), or one 28-ounce can whole peeled roma tomatoes, drained and chopped

  • 1/2

    cup dry red wine

  • 1

    teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/2

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2

    cup snipped fresh basil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 shallow baking pans with parchment; set aside. 2. In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil for 8 minutes or until translucent. Cool. 3. In a large bowl combine eggs, ground beef, Grana Padano, ricotta, panko, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Add onion mixture. Using your hands, mix to combine. Shape into 2-inch balls. Place on prepared pans. Test one meatball before starting the next process. If the ricotta is too watery, add more breadcrumbs or ground beef. If it is too dry, add more ricotta. 4. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until 165 degrees F. 5. In a very large skillet bring the marinara sauce to boiling. Add half of the meatballs to the skillet and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until a nice saucy consistency. Garnish with Grana Padano, if desired. From the Test Kitchen: Freeze leftover meatballs up to 1 month. When ready to use, in a very large skillet bring marinara sauce to a simmer. Add frozen meatballs; return to simmer. Cover; simmer 10 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 65 Meatballs Marinara Sauce: 1. In a large saucepan cook pancetta (if using), onion, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until pancetta starts to brown and onion is tender, stirring occasionally. 2. Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil.

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