Giant Meatballs with Ricotta

Ground meat is as accessible as it is economical. In this episode, Martha uses it in her mother’s meatloaf, and butcher Pat LaFrieda joins Martha to make sweet and hot Italian-style pork sausage. Martha custom-blends ground meats for burgers and cooks giant meatballs with ricotta. Each of these recipes is guaranteed to please family and friends alike.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch pieces) crusty white Italian bread, crusts removed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups Marinara Sauce (recipe follows)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil; set aside.
  2. Place bread in a bowl and add milk to moisten. Chop bread into small pieces no larger than ¼-inch and place in a large bowl. Add veal, beef, pork, egg, onion, parsley, oregano, cheeses, salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently mix well until combined.
  3. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a large meatball. Transfer meatballs to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a large saucepan. Transfer the meatballs to the marinara sauce and simmer, partially covered, until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano.