© Rick Poon
Active Time
N/A
Total Time
1 HR 30 MIN
Yield
Serves : 6

The secret to these luscious meatballs is using ground beef that has a fairly high fat content and mixing it with fresh ricotta, milk-soaked bread and aromatic seasonings like fennel and lemon zest. Slideshow: More Meatball Recipes

How to Make It

Step 1    Prepare the Greens

In a pot, heat the oil. Add the carrot, onion and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are very tender and caramelized, 20 minutes. Add the anchovies and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve and the tomato paste is deep red, 5 minutes. Add the beet greens, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, 7 minutes.

Step 2    Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs

In a bowl, soak the bread in the milk until the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Step 3    Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the beef, ricotta, Parmigiano, egg, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, parsley, fennel, kosher salt and black pepper. Squeeze any excess milk from the bread and add the bread to the bowl. Mix the meat mixture well, then roll it into eighteen 1 1/2-inch balls; transfer to a baking sheet.

Step 4    Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs

In a cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Cook half of the meatballs over moderate heat, turning, until golden brown and no longer pink within, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and meatballs.

Step 5    Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs

Rewarm the beet greens and transfer to a platter; top with the meatballs. Serve garnished with Parmigiano, chopped oregano and sea salt.

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