I have been an admirer for a few months of Donna Hay and her recipes, I've bought several of her magazines, but have never, until now, made one of her recipes. This one, in her latest issue, looked quite tasty, and so I endeavoured to make it. Unfortunately, I could not get veal, so I substituted ground lamb. Too, I substituted some limoncella for the chicken stock I had discovered past its date in my larder. Neither substitution impacted the wonderfully rich taste of these meatballs, though it popped into my head that perhaps I would have been better served to put mint leaves instead of the oregano, as that pairs better with the lamb. Serve over your favourite pasta.Ricotta and Fennel Meatballs
From a recipe from Donna Hay Entertaining
2 slices bread
1/2 cup milk
250 g ground pork
250 g ground veal
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed and roughly chopped
100 g ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Place the bread and milk in a large bowl and allow to stand for 2 minutes or until the bread has absorbed the milk. Add the ground pork, ground veal, oregano, basil, fennel seeds, garlic, ricotta and egg, and mix until well combined. Roll into small balls, about a tablespoonful each.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and cook the meatballs in batches for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Return all the meatballs to the frying pan.
Place the tomatoes, stock, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine.
Pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs and simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.