Chicken and ricotta meatballs

Chicken and ricotta meatballs
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 25 min. Oven time 20 min

Chicken and ricotta meatballs simmered in rich tomato sauce makes for a delicious midweek dinner. Serve these ‘polpette’ over polenta or pasta.

For a veggie take, try our spicy aubergine polpette.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
388kcals
Fat
16.9g (6.1g saturated)
Protein
33.2g
Carbohydrates
24.4g (11.3g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
0.7g
Calories
388kcals
Fat
16.9g (6.1g saturated)
Protein
33.2g
Carbohydrates
24.4g (11.3g sugars)
Fibre
2.9g
Salt
0.7g

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 x 400g tins finely chopped tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, whizzed
  • Pinch sugar

For the polpette

  • 400g free-range skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 100g ricotta
  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • Finely grated zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • Cooked polenta or pasta to serve

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry over a low medium heat with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and half a tin of water. Bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, for the polpette, whizz the chicken, egg yolk and ricotta to a thick paste in a food processor. Tip the mixture into a bowl, then add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, most of the parsley and half the parmesan, as well as a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix well and squish everything together, then divide into 16 small balls and set aside on a plate.
  3. Heat the oven to 180ºC fan/gas 6. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the polpette and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes, turning regularly, until golden brown. Tip the polpette into a baking dish (or leave in the pan if it’s ovenproof). Pour the tomato sauce into the dish/pan, top with the parmesan and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve with cooked polenta or pasta.

delicious. tips

  1. To use up the leftover egg white, make a whisky sour.

  2. Prepare up to the end of step 2, cover the polpette and leave in the fridge for up to 3 hours before continuing with step 3.

Recipe By

Esther Clark

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