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Baked veal and sage meatballs with soft polenta

Australian Gourmet Traveller fast recipe for baked veal and sage meatballs with soft polenta.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
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Baked veal and sage meatballs with soft polenta


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 400 gm canned cherry tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) tomato passata
  • 250 gm each minced veal and minced pork
  • 40 gm finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra to serve
  • 20 gm fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp each finely chopped thyme and oregano
Soft polenta
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 180 gm instant polenta
  • 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 30 gm Pecorino Romano, finely grated


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Heat half the oil in a large deep-sided ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion and half the garlic, stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes), add cherry tomatoes and passata and bring to the simmer.
  • 2
    Combine veal, pork, pecorino, breadcrumbs, herbs and remaining garlic in a bowl, season to taste, mix well with your hands and roll into 2cm-diameter balls. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan, add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over (1-2 minutes). Add to tomato sauce, transfer to oven and bake until tender (10-12 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for soft polenta, bring milk and 600ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add polenta while whisking continuously until thick (2-3 minutes). Add butter and pecorino, season generously to taste and whisk to combine.
  • 4
    Serve polenta, meatballs and sauce hot, scattered with extra pecorino and sage.