Italian Meatballs with Ricotta (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

ricotta meatballs

There’s nothing like the smell of homemade meatballs cooking in the kitchen, and these tender beef meatballs enhanced with ricotta, pecorino and other classic ingredients are no exception.

Yes, there are many different ways to make classic and traditional Italian meatballs, every family has their own cherished recipes. In my family I make them a few different ways, traditionally with soaked bread and breadcrumbs, a mix of pork and beef, fried, baked, I could go on and on but recently this has become my current favorite and neither bread nor breadcrumbs are added into the mix.

 

ricotta meatballs

Ricotta laced meatballs are so tender and flavorful, the taste is incredible and I promise you you’re not going to miss the addition of bread, so because of that ricotta meatballs are perfect for those on a low carb and gluten free diet.

pan fried meatballs

I like using organic ground beef which is 85% lean and 15% fat. I also prefer to pan fry them in a little olive oil after they’re formed. Pan frying allows them to become caramelized all over and form a crust which is a very important step that adds to the intense flavor, and there’s no need to cook them all the way through.

ricotta meatballs

The meatballs will be finished off in the oven along with a good quality marinara for them to bathe in, preferably homemade.

ricotta meatballs

You’re always going to treasure your own tried and true family recipes that have been handed down through the generations but it’s also fun to discover new favorites along the way, I hope you give these a try, they’re truly amazing!

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Italian Meatballs with Ricotta (Low Carb, GF)
 
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Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs. organic ground beef, 85% lean 15% fat
  • 1 egg
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 very generous heaping tablespoons ricotta, look for a good quality supermarket ricotta, not the over the counter deli type which holds a lot of moisture.
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed or grated on a microplane
  • 1 large handful of grated pecorino romano and 1 large handful of Italian parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 good quality jar of marinara, preferably homemade
  • basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together well. Before you form mixture into balls, fry off a little bit of the meatball mix, this way you can really check for the right seasoning. Sometimes you need more grated cheese, pepper, salt, parsley and this way you'll be able to adjust to your liking.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in a nonstick skillet and when oil is hot drop your formed meatballs into the pan and caramelize on all sides, no need to worry about cooking it all through, just make sure to get a nice crust all around.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  4. Spoon some marinara into the bottom of a casserole dish, add the meatballs, then spoon some sauce on top of each one as well.
  5. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Grilled Meatballs Stuffed with Fontina and Some Exciting News!

grilled meatballsThis past weekend the weather finally felt like spring so it was time to clean the grill and fire it up for the first time since winter.
Fontina stuffed meatball I decided I was going to try grilling meatballs, I’ve been wanting to try it, something different. I mixed them up the way I always make them minus the breadcrumbs. I cubed up some Fontina cheese and placed a hunk right in the middle. For my grilled meatballs I used ground turkey because that’s what I had, but you could use any ground meat mixture that you like. Just make sure your grill is nice and clean, rub some oil on the grates and because I used ground turkey I sprayed my meatballs beforehand with olive oil. I had no fancy gadgets I just plopped them right onto the grill, but here’s the thing, don’t get anxious and start moving them, let them form a crust on the bottom. For extra precaution I checked the bottom using a sharp edged spatula before I flipped them over.

I have a gas grill and I put all my burners on low. I made a roasted tomato and garlic sauce to serve with my meatballs, a great combination that enhanced all the flavors of the entire dish. We loved how they tasted! The slightly smokey flavor the grill added was a plus along with the nice crispy outer crust that formed. Moist and flavorful inside with gooey Fontina cheese oozing out. This would be great for a party, you could even make them as kabobs!

 And now for my exciting news! I wrote an ebook/cookbook! I can hardly believe it myself but I really did! Within a couple of days I will be releasing it here on my blog. So please come back and read all about it, I can’t wait to share it with you!

Ironically, and I didn’t even plan it this way, both my favorite meatball recipe and the sauce I made here will be featured in my ebook. So feel free to use your own  special meatball recipe along with your favorite sauce, but I really encourage you to make some meatballs on the grill next time next time you fire yours up, I promise you will love them!

If you haven’t already done so please “like” my Facebook page or share my post over there, I’ll be giving away 10 copies to my Facebook friends. In the very near future I’ll also be having a giveaway right here on my blog for some free copies.

Thank you all for your support!

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Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

I got the inspiration to make this the other night while I was flipping channels on my remote, I came across a show on Food Network it was either “Unique Eats” or “The Best Thing I Ever Ate“, I can’t tell you which one it was but the girl was just raving about these Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs that she ate at some restaurant.
What caught my attention was the brilliant way in which the Chef stuffed them, he did it by freezing balls of ricotta, placing them inside the meat and them forming the rest of the meat all around it.

I couldn’t wait to try out his method, it sounded so easy!
Martha once had someone on her show who baked the meatballs first then took a apple corer and cut through the center of the meatball after which he took a pastry bag filled with ricotta and squeezed it into the hole, sounds like a lot of work to me plus you’re wasting some of the meatball, and besides I wanted my ricotta cooked.


There was no recipe, I just winged it, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to do.
Mix up your ricotta in a separate bowl, I added romano cheese, salt, pepper, chopped basil and parsley to mine, no egg.
The size of your meatballs will determine the size of your ricotta balls, I made a few giant meatballs, like one per person size and I also made regular sized ones, so I rolled my ricotta accordingly, placed the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and into the freezer they went for about an hour.

While you’re waiting mix up your meat, I usually always add, garlic, onion, egg, grated cheese, moist bread, salt, pepper and fresh chopped parsley to mine.

When the ricotta balls are frozen and ready to go, take some meat in the palm of your hand, place the ball of ricotta inside, then cover it with more meat to form a ball, that’s it!

Although it’s hard to see the perspective in this photo, these were the giant meatballs I made, one was enough per person to fill you up.
I served these big ones with a salad and roasted cauliflower for our dinner.

I also rolled up a tray of regular sized meatballs, I was curious to see if it would work and the ricotta would stay tucked inside after they cooked, and It did perfectly!

Bake them in a hot oven 400F – 425F
until done, of course that it will all depend on the size you make your meatballs.

Let them cool down a bit before you try to stick your fork inside
otherwise the ricotta will just run out. Trust me, I know!


Spoon some freshly made marinara over the top, dowse it with grated cheese
now grab your fork!

I’m telling you my dear friends, this…was …
good!!
Buon Appetito!

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SUNDAY SUPPER

Last Sunday was a rainy day in Chicago, actually it rained all weekend so I decided to make homemade sauce with meatballs and sausage. The day before, my Hubby and I, went to our local Italian store to replenish my cans of San Marzano Tomatoes, and to get some fresh sausage. Although they are pretty pricey San Marzano Tomatoes are the BEST! There absolutely is no bitter taste to these tomatoes, none at all! My favorite brand is called Gia Russo, they make a great sauce!! They are worth every penny! You must try them, if you haven’t already. Throw a little fresh Basil in there’ and WOW! You can’t get any better than that!!!! Oh yeah, The aroma is out of this world!!! You can find my favorite sauces in my ebook, Italian Sauces My way, here’s the link.

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