The combination of orzo and ricotta make these little cinnamon-spiced meatballs nicely light.
Slideshow: Meatball Recipes
1/4 cup orzo
1 large egg
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 pound ground chuck (preferably 20 percent fat)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
24-ounce jar marinara sauce
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and let cool.
In a bowl, beat the egg, shallot, garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the orzo, ground beef, ricotta, water, salt, pepper and the 1/4 cup of chopped basil and mix well. Shape into 1 1/4-inch meatballs and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the meatballs over moderately high heat, turning, until just cooked through, 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until hot, 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and simmer until hot, 3 minutes. Spoon the meatballs and sauce into shallow bowls, garnish with basil and serve with shaved cheese.
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