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Oversized meatballs with marinara and whipped ricotta

These quarter-pound, giant meatballs are baked to perfection in the oven and topped with fresh, homemade tomato sauce, homemade whipped ricotta, and topped with basil and chives. 



Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

  • 1 litre store bought marinara sauce
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1 egg
  • 680 g ground beef
  • 680 g ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

Whipped Ricotta

  • 454 g ricotta
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped


  • Basil and parmigiano reggiano, for garnish


Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. 
  2. Add the marinara to a nine-by-13-inch casserole dish. Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the sauce is hot.
  3. In the meantime, tear the white bread into bite-sized pieces and add it to a small bowl.  Pour the milk over the top and let it sit for five minutes. Mash the milk-soaked bread with a fork until the bread resembles a paste.  Add the egg and mix well.
  4. Add the beef, pork, dried oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, parmigiano reggiano and chopped parsley to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the bread and egg mixture.  Use your hands to mix everything well.
  5. Divide the meatball mixture into eight equal parts.  Use damp hands to shape them into meatballs.
  6. Remove the tomato sauce from the oven and gently lower the meatballs into the hot sauce.  Cover with tinfoil and return to the oven.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn the meatballs over.  Cover, return to the oven, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Whipped Ricotta

  1. Add the ricotta, cream, salt and honey to a small food processor (or whisk by hand) and blend on high for one minute.  
  2. Stir in the basil and chives.


  1. Family style – smear the whipped ricotta over the base of a large serving platter.  Remove the meatballs from the sauce and place on top of the ricotta.  Garnish with more parmigiana and basil. Serve the extra marinara sauce on the side.
  2. Individual plates – dollop some whipped ricotta onto a shallow bowl and spread it around. Remove a meatball from the sauce and place on top.  Pour the extra marinara into a bowl and serve on the side.

TIP: Meatballs and marinara can be made one or two days in advance and kept in the fridge.  

TIP: To reheat, preheat the oven to 350° F, cover the meatballs with aluminum foil, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. 

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