The combination of orzo and ricotta make these little cinnamon-spiced meatballs nicely light. Slideshow:  Meatball Recipes 

Giada De Laurentiis
May 2014


Recipe Summary

45 mins
4 to 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

Serve With

Grilled bread.

Suggested Pairing

Chianti Classico Riservas spend more time in oak than basic Chiantis, which gives them lovely spice to match with these meatballs.