This dish is one variation of Itallian meatballs cooked in sauce, and then served as a main course that was on this blog many years ago but never made it back online when I did a complete redesign. After getting a number of requests for this recipe, I decided I had better make sure I added it once again so folks can easily find it. You can shape your meat into balls, or do as I did, forming my meatballs into patties so they actually are more like individual meat loaves. The meatballs/patties are then cooked in a tasty tomato sauce that can be served separately over pasta as a first course, allowing this dish to become a complete meal.
Because you are combining ground meat with other ingredients such as ricotta cheese, then cooking the meatballs in sauce, they are very tender and moist even if you use lean meats as ground turkey or ground sirloin. Use good quality chopped tomatoes for the sauce such as Pomi or Muir Glen brands.
Deborah Mele 2012
Ricotta & Beef Meatballs In Sauce
- 1 (28 Ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
- 4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Pound Ground Meat Of Choice (Turkey, Beef, Pork, or Veal work well)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 3/4 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1 Cup Mushrooms, Finely Chopped (Button Or Baby Bella)
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Minced
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped
- 2/3 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest, Minced
- Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan, and add onions, then cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Next add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer while you prepare the meat.
- In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil.
- Add the onion, mushrooms, and pine nuts and cook until the pine nuts begin to turn brown.
- Add the garlic, stir well, and remove from heat.
- Combine the remaining ingredients with the onion mixture and mix until well blended.
- Form the meatballs into 6 separate patties or large balls, and brown in the frying pan used to cook the onion mixture until the meatballs are browned on both sides, turning carefully as needed.
- Gently place the meatballs into the saucepan holding the sauce and cover.
- Continue to cook the meatballs in the simmering sauce for 25 minutes more.
- Remove the meatballs and serve hot with a little sauce, using the remaining sauce to top your choice of pasta.