Chicken and ricotta meatballs
- March 2022
- Serves 4
- 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.
- 16.9g (6.1g saturated)
- 24.4g (11.3g sugars)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
To use up the leftover egg white, make a whisky sour.
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.
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