Creamy ricotta adds moisture and keeps these meatballs on the lighter side.
When I was little, I always wanted to be that iconic Italian mother in the kitchen who spent her days stirring a pot of something delicious. My family is full of loud and crazy women who know their way around the kitchen but you’re more likely to find Stuffed Grape Leaves, Syrian Salad or Meat Pies than lasagna or raviolis.
As fate would have it, I married an Italian man and gained a last name as Italian as it gets: Della Croce. (Yes, we were married by my Rabbi but that’s beside the point.) Now that we have a son who has Italian blood, I feel it is my maternal duty to make meatballs at least once a month.
Today’s version is inspired by Chef Michael Symon who shared his mother’s famous recipe on an episode of The Chew. (As Sheila can attest, I have a slight Chef Symon obsession. That man can zest a lemon like no other I’ve seen.)
My version is lightened up with lean sirloin and part skim ricotta but you are welcome to go all out and use a pork/beef mixture and full fat ricotta.
Your fork is waiting.
- 16 oz ground sirloin (90% lean)
- ⅔ cup part-skim ricotta
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 egg whites - whisked
- 1 garlic clove - grated
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspooon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl. combine beef with ricotta, parmesan, egg whites, garlic, parsley, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Be careful not to over-mix - that causes dense, dry meatballs.
- Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop out the meat mixture and roll into balls and place in an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Add to pasta sauce of choice and serve over whole wheat spaghetti.