Giant meatballs stuffed with mozzarella

Justine Schofields pork and veal mince balls in spicy tomato sauce make a delicious starter or serve with spaghetti for a filing main
By Justine Schofield
Giant meatballs stuffed with mozzarella
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 500 g minced pork
  • 500 g minced veal
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g finely grated parmesan
  • 2 handfuls breadcrumbs
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 6 cubes mozzarella, 3cm x 3cm

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can of tomato
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 2 x 700ml passata
  • 6 basil leaves, torn
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Method

1. To make the sauce: heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan (that can go in the oven). On medium low heat, fry the onion, garlic, anchovies and chilli until soft. Add the white wine and cook off for 5 minutes. Now add the crushed tomatoes, the passata and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a low heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Now add the basil.

2. Pre heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. For the meatballs: Mix the veal and pork mince with ricotta, egg, parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, tomato paste and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Combine well with your hands.

3. Form the mixture into large balls (size of a tennis ball). Pierce the meatball with the mozzarella and ensure you seal well with the meat. Place meatballs on to a tray and bake in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Once cooked, add the meatballs to the sauce, and place back into the oven and cook for another 35 minutes at 180C/160 fan/gas 4. Serve with a little freshly grated parmesan.

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