Ricotta is one of my favorite ingredients to add to meatballs – I love my meatballs to be light and not dense, and the ricotta gives it an amazingly tender texture. These meatballs gain so much flavor from simmering away in your favorite marinara sauce. I like to serve them simply over some arugula or with roasted vegetables, and some crusty bread on the side is a great addition.
Beef Ricotta Meatballs
For The Meatballs:
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons whole milk at room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
For the Salad:
- 1/2 5 ounce container baby arugula, about 4 cups
- 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- This recipe originated on an episode of Giada Entertains. Episode: Weeknight Special.
- In a medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs, milk, egg, ricotta cheese and parmesan. Stir well to combine and allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the liquid. Add the beef and salt. Using your hands mix gently to combine.
- Heat a medium straight sided skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Roll heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture into balls and place in the hot pan. Add as many as the pan will allow without overcrowding, working in two batches if needed. Brown the balls on all sides rotating as needed, about 8 minutes. Remove the balls to a plate when they are browned all over. Continue with the remaining meat. When all the meatballs are browned, pour off the excess oil from the pan. Add the marinara. Return the balls to the sauce and cover the pan. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl toss together the arugula, lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan shavings. Divide the salad among 4 to 5 salad bowls and top with 3 to 4 meatballs. Serve with more cheese if desired.