Giant meatballs stuffed with mozzarella


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.

You'll need

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

Method

  • 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.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Savoury sangiovese.

Featured in

Apr 2015

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