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

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Ingredients

For the Stuffing
For the Meatballs
To Serve

Directions

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

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  • 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
03/15/2011
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.