Ricotta Not-Meat Balls
This dairy "meat" ball is a great tasting, less-expensive alternative to the traditional meatball.
Sweet Potato Soup
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Cheese, Pasta, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Chef Bill Collins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
  • 2 28 oz canned tomatoes (whole tomatoes are preferable but diced are fine too)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil (sliced, or 2 teaspoons dried basil. Divided)
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta
  • cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Heat a small stockpot over a medium heat. When it’s heated, add the olive oil and garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, 10-30 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and wine, and bring to a simmer. Add the tomato paste
  • Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes (or however much time you have).  Add the basil, and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like a smooth sauce, puree it in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender
  • While the sauce is simmering, make the “meat” balls: In a large bowl, mix all of the Ricotta “meat” ball ingredients together until combined. The mixture will be quite soft
  • Wet your hands and scoop out approximately 2-tablespoon-sized portions, and roll them into balls between your palms. They’ll each be about 2 inches wide and weigh about 1 ½ ounces/40 grams. Place each on a baking sheet. You’ll have approximately 16-20 “meat” balls
  • Once they have all been shaped, bring the sauce to a boil and carefully drop them into the sauce. Shake the pot back and forth gently, after each addition, to make room and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot or to each other. Do not stir, as the balls will break apart. Reduce the heat, and keep the sauce at a gentle simmer
  • Cover the pot, and leave the sauce undisturbed for 4 minutes. Remove the lid and gently shake the pot again. The “meat” balls will have begun to firm up. Cover the pot again and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the “meat” balls are firm, plump and cooked through
  • Carefully remove the “meat” balls to a plate or shallow bow, and drizzle them with sauce
  • Garnish with grated parmesan cheese

Notes

Serve with pasta, rice, or quinoa
Whole milk ricotta works best, as the part-skim ricotta “meat” balls are often
Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Not-Meat Balls
Serving Size
 
4 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
500
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
27
g
42
%
Saturated Fat
 
12
g
75
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
11
g
Cholesterol
 
141
mg
47
%
Sodium
 
753
mg
33
%
Potassium
 
696
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
38
g
13
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
23
g
46
%
Vitamin A
 
1389
IU
28
%
Vitamin C
 
11
mg
13
%
Calcium
 
377
mg
38
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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