Pork & Ricotta Meatballs from Michael Symon's Carnivore

Allison Renzulli is a Marketing Manager at Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor at The Recipe Club. She lives in New York City, and loves to cook, bake and eat. She loves anything sweet, especially Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Crunch Ice Cream, and Vanilla Mr. Softee cones with rainbow sprinkles.

I’m always on the lookout for a new take on meatballs. I make my standard beef/veal/pork recipe quite frequently, and when I saw this twist on meatballs in Michael Symon’s Carnivore, I knew the spices and the ricotta cheese in these would provide a new spin on a classic dish.
Soaking the Bread for the Meatballs
I first soaked the bread in milk, as directed, and then mixed in the rest of the ingredients. I could see, as I was making these little gems, that they would taste different than an average meatball. The consistency was slightly sticky, and the texture was slightly creamier, due to the ricotta cheese.
Frying the Pork & Ricotta Meatballs
I then fried up about 12 meatballs (two batches did the trick) in olive oil. My only suggestion would be to use more olive oil than directed – mine stuck to the pan quite a bit. While they were cooking, I cooked up some pasta and used some tomato sauce I had leftover from a night before to serve. I could definitely have eaten them plain, on some Italian bread or perhaps even a yogurt dipping sauce. These are definitely a make-again dish!

Recipe for Pork & Ricotta Meatballs
Excerpted from Michael Symon’s Carnivore by Michael Symon

Serves 4 to 6

1⁄2 cup cubed day-old bread
1⁄4 cup whole milk
11⁄2 pounds medium-ground pork (20% fat)
1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1⁄4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese

1. In a medium bowl, soak the bread in the milk. After the bread has thoroughly absorbed the milk, remove it from the bowl, squeezing out any excess liquid with your hands.

2. In a large bowl, combine the pork, soaked bread, ricotta, garlic, shallot, parsley, lemon zest, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Mix with your hands to combine. Form into meatballs using ¹⁄³ cup of the mixture for each one. It is easiest to form meatballs with slightly damp hands. You should have about 12 to 15 meatballs.

3. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a large bowl, garnish with the basil leaves, and top with the Parmesan cheese.