Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ricotta Meatballs

Ricotta Meatballs
I'm an Italian gal who loooves ricotta cheese. I LOVE IT! On pizza, in lasagna, even in gnocchi! My heart breaks for my poor brother-in-law and his wife: they moved to North Carolina this year (my sister-in-law, Emily, is attending grad school down there) and apparently they do not have much in the way of Italian food. Like...they don't carry ricotta in normal grocery stores. WHAT THE WHAT??! That's insane. And sad. I'm sure they both load up on the Italian food when they visit, though, but still...that'd be a tough one for me.
Ricotta Meatballs
Soooo...when I saw the idea of putting ricotta in meatballs. Clearly, I was gonna have to try it. And I'm so glad I did! It's not like a totally revolutionary thing-it didn't make meatballs all of a sudden taste totally different! Buuuut...I definitely think it added a little extra somethin' to them, and they were super moist. Which I think is probably due to the ricotta? Regardless, I like 'em. You'll probably like 'em and....if you live in the South and have a hard time finding ricotta....oh man. I'm so sorry. Someone needs to like...write a letter about this. Because it's a real problem.

Or you could just make this meatball recipe.

But I still recommend you try this one.

Ricotta Meatballs


Ricotta Meatballs
Makes 4-6 servings.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 2/3 cup low-fat (or part skim) ricotta (you can use full-fat if you prefer)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped basil (or about 1 tsp. dried basil)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (or about 1/2 tsp. dried parsley)
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • olive oil, for the pan
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees and prepare a large rimmed baking sheet by pouring a a few tablespoons of olive oil evenly across it (you can also line the sheet with parchment paper before drizzling with olive oil).
  • In a large bowl gently combine the meat, ricotta, shallot, garlic, egg, and seasonings-do not overmix!
  • Take a large portion of the meat mixture and form a 1-2 inch ball (about the size of a golf ball, or a bit bigger). Place on the prepared baking dish and repeat until all the meat mixture has been used.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes, until brown on top.
  • Serve alone or with pasta and your favorite sauce! 
  • To store leftovers, wrap in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or in some sauce on the stovetop.
Ricotta Meatballs
I just want to reach through the screen and grab one!
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