I was at it again – taking a perfectly good recipe and putting in way too much of something just to see what would happen. In this case it was a basic meatball recipe that was the object of my curiosity.
I wanted to know what would happen if I put in a relatively large ratio of ricotta cheese. What happened was tasty, very tender, and fairly light meatballs. I feared the extra mixing required to incorporate the ricotta make the meatballs tough and rubbery. I'm happy to report it did not.
The cheese actually gave the meatballs a very nice texture, and ironically, this recipe could end up being a cure for the chronic over-mixers among us. A recipe that eliminates the problem of over mixing by using an ingredient that forces you to over mix it? Is that a paradox?
While you're googling "paradox," I'm going to finish off the last of these delicious meatballs that I served with the customary spaghetti. And, by customary I mean in America, since our Italian friends still refuse to admit how great these two things are together, and remain adamant about serving them at different courses. Hey, their loss! Enjoy.
1/2 onion, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
1/3 cup plain breadcrumb
1 (28-oz) jar prepared marinara sauce
1 cup water