Lamb Meatballs With Tomato Sauce & Ricotta Salata

Lamb Meatballs With Tomato Sauce & Ricotta Salata
4 from 2 ratings
From DC's SAVOR event and chef Adam Dulye from The Monk's Kettle and The Abbot's Cellar. Pair with 21st Amendment's Back in Black brew.
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/4 pound ground lamb, preferably shoulder meat
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon tsp sweet paprika, preferably hungarian
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 three-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cup canned san marzano tomatoes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounce ricotta salata, crumbled
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk; let sit until the bread absorbs the milk, about 10 minutes.
  2. Put the lamb in a medium bowl. Squeeze the excess milk out of the breadcrumbs and add them to the lamb. Add the egg, onion, parsley, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. With your hands or a rubber spatula, gently work the mixture together until thoroughly combined. Moisten your hands with cold water and shape the mixture into 16 balls (about the size of golf balls); arrange them on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake the meatballs until cooked through and browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the oregano, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and allspice. Raise the heat to medium high and add the wine. Simmer for a minute or two until slightly reduced and then add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the sauce cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add more water if it seems too thick.
  5. Add the baked meatballs to the sauce, turning to coat them. Cover the pan partially and cook until the meatballs are heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs and sauce sprinkled with the ricotta salata.