Recipe Review: Pork and Ricotta Meatballs

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Pork and Ricotta Meatballs

From Michael Symon’s Carnivore

A plate of pasta, marinara and meatballs

A plate of pasta, marinara and meatballs

(sorry no link to use this time!)

I love to have friends over for dinner; nothing’s better than good food and interesting conversation. I always try to be the perfect hostess so once a dinner invitation has been accepted, I begin to plan (worry/obsess) what the meal will be.

In this particular instance, I enlisted the help of my other half. We stumbled upon this meatball recipe in a cookbook that I’d actually gifted to him last year (it may have been the first time since Christmas that he’d opened it). Most people I know enjoy meatballs; who wouldn’t love little balls of carnivorous goodness? I’ve worked with chicken and turkey before, but this was my first experience making pork meatballs. I decided to give this a try because Michael Symon’s recipe seemed so straight forward.

mixing up the balls

mixing up the balls

To start with day old bread is called for. I left a piece of sandwich bread out on my kitchen counter for 4 or 5 hours and it was stale enough to use. Secondly I would make sure that you use whole milk and not substitute because of the fat content, otherwise the meatball may be dry.  There is no pepper of any sort in the recipe, which can be totally fine if you’re planning to serve your meatballs in a spicy marinara sauce. Since my marinara isn’t too spicy, I would probably add 10 turns of freshly cracked pepper to my next batch. Finally I substituted the basil garnish with the parsley I’d already used in the mixture.

17 meatballs from my ice cream scoop

17 meatballs from my ice cream scoop

When rolling out the meatballs, an ice cream/cookie scoop is a really helpful tool. This way all the balls are more uniform in size which helps them to cook more evenly I got 17 fairly sizeable balls out of this batch. Speaking of batches, when frying the meatballs, I separated mine into 2 groups as to not crowd the pan and provide myself with fewer opportunities for oil spatter injuries. The total preparation and cooking time was 30-40 minutes which for me is ideal for after work dinner guests.

Eww...gross

Eww…gross

brown little babies, brown

brown little babies, brown

The recipe says that the meatballs can be served by themselves, but I decided to make it a complete meal and defrosted some homemade marinara sauce, boiled some pasta and tossed it all together. I think for a cocktail party or sports gathering, plain meatballs would be a great option.

the meatballs soaking up some homemade marinara sauce

the meatballs soaking up some homemade marinara sauce

I really like this recipe! The meatballs were creamy and had a lovely bit of sweetness from the cinnamon. As I said earlier, I would probably add a hint of black pepper to them the next go-round. I could tell our dinner guests enjoyed the meal when they started asking for seconds. In fact, I had none left at the end of the evening! Ultimately, I’d call this recipe and dinner a success.

Such a good plate of food

Such a good plate of food

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