Basic meatballs become dinner party fare when stuffed with rich, creamy ricotta cheese in this recipe from Apizz chef John LaFemina.



For the Stuffing
For the Meatballs
To Serve


Instructions Checklist
  • Make the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Run bread under water and gently squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer bread to a large bowl and add veal, beef, pork, egg, onion, parsley, basil, cheese, and oregano; season with salt. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a large round meatball. Place meatballs in a large baking dish.

  • In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce and two cups of water. Spoon tomato sauce mixture over meatballs until liquid comes three-quarters of the way up the meatballs, adding more water if necessary. Cover baking dish with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil and transfer to oven. Bake meatballs for 1 hour, rotating dish after 30 minutes.

  • Make the stuffing: In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Transfer cheese mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip; set aside.

  • Remove meatballs from baking dish and discard liquid. Using an apple corer or small knife, cut out a 1/2-inch hole in the bottom of each meatball; fill hole with cheese mixture and transfer meatballs to a large baking dish, hole side up.

  • Serve: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon tomato sauce evenly over meatballs and transfer to oven. Bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Top each meatball with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese (it should look like it is oozing from the center) and sprinkle with Parmigiano; return to oven and heat for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Reviews (1)

41 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 12
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: Unrated
I think the salt measurement might be wrong on the ricotta stuffing....way too salty! I tried to cut it by adding cream cheese and it was still salty. Would have started over if I had more ricotta, but I didn't. Next time I will start at 1/2t and work my way up.