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Italian Beef and Pork Meatballs

Italian Beef and Pork Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

The perfect winter comfort food with a glass of Italian Aglianico.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Author adapted from "A16 Food + Wine" by Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren, and Kate Leahy


  • 10 oz. ground pork shoulder
  • 10 oz. ground beef chuck
  • 2 oz. bacon fat, frozen, finely diced
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, frozen, finely diced
  • 6 oz. day old soft bread crumbs, crust removed
  • 1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 2/3 cup fresh ricotta, drain if needed
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 28 oz. your favorite tomato sauce, homemade or store bought to save time


  • Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, bacon fat, prosciutto, bread crumbs, parsley, 1 tablespoon salt, oregano, fennel seeds, and chile flakes. Mix gently with your hands until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, and milk. Whisk until ricotta curds are broken down and mixture is blended.
  • Add the ricotta mixture to the meat mixture and gently mix with your hands until just incorporated. Form into 1-1/2 inch size balls, weighing about 2 oz. each. Place the balls on the lined  baking sheet. You will have about 30 meatballs.
  • Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, for about 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are browned and fully cooked.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and lower the temperature to 300º F.
    In a shallow stoneware baker, place the meatballs and cover with the tomato sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and braise for about 1 hour.
  • Serve with grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgn olive oil.