Even defrosted and reheated, these meatballs are light and full of flavor. Use them atop pasta (with basil leaves and cheese as garnishes) or in long rolls, with a sauce or slaw.
Make Ahead: Place the meatballs on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer the meatballs to a freezer-safe resealable plastic food storage bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator during the day, then reheat on a baking sheet (tops brushed with a little olive oil) in a 325-degree oven until thoroughly heated through.
Servings: 4 - 5
Yield: Makes 12 to 15 meatballs
- 1/2 cup day-old bread, cubed
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (20 percent fat)
- 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (1 to 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup torn basil leaves, for garnish
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
Combine the bread and milk in a medium bowl, allowing time for the milk to be absorbed. Loosely squeeze the soaked bread, then transfer it to a mixing bowl.
Add the pork, ricotta, garlic, shallot, parsley, lemon zest, the ground coriander and cinnamon and the salt, then use your clean, damp hands to gently combine the mixture and form 12 to 15 meatballs of equal size (about 2 inches wide).
Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Heat the oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add half of the meatballs and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side until evenly browned, turning them as needed and making sure they are cooked through.
Transfer to the wire rack; repeat with the remaining meatballs. (You do not need to add more oil to the skillet.)
At this point, the meatballs can be served with basil and cheese on top. Or they can be thoroughly cooled, then stored according to the MAKE AHEAD directions, above.
Adapted from Michael Symon's "Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers," by Michael Symon with Douglas Trattner (Clarkson Potter, 2012).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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