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Meat free ricotta balls are a great alternative to meatballs when combined with  lovely tomato sauce and pasta. They are also yummy as a snack.

You will find these are so versatile  and you can experiment by adding different flavours to them like paprika, cayenne, chilli, cumin or even chopped up sundried tomato. If you are going for a less healthy option you could add a square of mozzarella for a melt in the middle finish.

Kids love these, my 2-year-old son ate nearly half a batch yesterday over lunch. Here is the basic recipe.

Note to my American followers – I have added American measurements in – these are approximate, but I believe they are correct, please let me know if you have any issues

Serves 4 if serving in tomato sauce with pasta or bread –25  balls

Freezing

Freeze these once the are cooked. To reheat thaw, wrap in foil and heat in the oven on 190C, 170C Fan, 373F, Gas 5 for 10 minutes

Ingredients

Ricotta – 1 Tub (250g) – 1 cup

Egg x 1 yolk only

Grana Padano grated  50g – 1/2 cup

Garlic clove crushed x 1

Bread crumbs – panko/dried  – 60 g  – 1 /2 Cup

Black pepper and a pinch of salt

Oil for greasing baking tray

Method

  • Heat oven to 190C, 170C Fan, 373F, Gas 5
  • Lightly grease a baking tray with oil
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl

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  • Ensure they are well mixed with a fork
  • Shape into little balls about 2cm/1 inch balls (mixture makes around 25 balls)
  • Place on a baking tray
  • Place in oven on a medium to high shelf
  • Bake  for about 15 minutes until golden
  • Serve in tomato sauce with pasta or bread – alternatively eat them on their own as a snack
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