November 22, 2015

A Turkey Dinner Treat: Ricotta Meatballs

Treat the guests at your upcoming holiday potlucks to a homemade batch of ricotta meatballs. Follow these simple instructions to create this zesty dish, which, when paired with a glass of KORBEL Rouge, makes for an unforgettable holiday feast.

Ricotta Meatballs

½ lb. sliced white bread, crusts removed and bread cut into ½ -inch dice (4 cups)
¾ lb. lean ground pork
¾ lb. ground turkey
3 oz. thickly sliced pancetta, minced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
⅔ cup ricotta
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt
2 (28-oz.) cans peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons shredded basil
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, pulse bread to coarse crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl, and add pork, turkey, pancetta, eggs, ricotta, parsley, oregano, fennel seeds, lemon zest and 1½ teaspoons kosher salt. Mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs, using about 5 rounded tablespoons of the mixture for each. Transfer to an oiled medium roasting pan.

Roast meatballs for about 30 minutes, or until firm and just beginning to brown. Using a spatula, loosen meatballs from bottom of pan. Add crushed tomatoes and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees, and cook, uncovered, for about 2 hours, or until sauce is very thick and meatballs are very tender, turning meatballs once or twice during cooking.

Transfer meatballs and sauce to a large platter. Garnish with basil and parmesan, and serve hot.