Giant meatballs stuffed with mozzarella

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

The molten mozzarella centre of these large-scale meatballs is a welcome and delicious surprise. These are a great low-key entertaining option - you can prepare the sauce and the meatballs in advance, assemble them in their baking dishes and have them ready to pop in the oven just before guests arrive.

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 kg pork and fennel sausages, meat squeezed out of skins
  • 60 gm fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 40 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella (about 200gm each), halved
  • To serve: extra-virgin olive oil and basil
  •  
  • Tomato-chilli sugo
  • 750 ml tomato passata
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 basil sprigs
01   For tomato-chilli sugo, process all ingredients in a food processor to a fine purée and season to taste. Transfer to a large saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened (10-15 minutes).
02   Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cool completely, then add sausage meat, breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, parsley and chilli, and mix well. Divide mixture into 4, then flatten each out to an oval. Dust a mozzarella half in flour, place in the centre of an oval, fold to enclose and roll to seal and form a ball. Set aside on a tray and repeat with remaining meat and mozzarella, then cover and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.
03   Preheat oven to 180C. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add meatballs and brown all over (4-5 minutes). Place each meatball in a shallow ovenproof bowl, ladle tomato sauce over and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Scatter with extra parmesan, season to taste and bake until bubbling and cooked through (15-20 minutes). Serve hot scattered with basil and with crusty bread.

Topics:

AUTUMN, BASIL, MAIN, SAUSAGES, DRINK SUGGESTION, ITALIAN, CHILLIES, PORK, PARSLEY, MOZZARELLA, TOMATOES, WHITE WINE, PARMESAN, GARLIC, CHEESE

Recipe:

EMMA KNOWLES

Photography:

BEN DEARNLEY

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ AND EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

SAVOURY SANGIOVESE. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

FEATURED IN

Apr 2015

Apr 2015

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