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Mighty meaty

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(Serves 4)

200g minced beef; 200g minced pork; 200g ri­cotta cheese; 2 onions, diced; 4 gar­lic cloves, crushed; 1tbsp finely chopped fresh rose­mary; 80g Parme­san cheese, grated; 40g fresh fine bread­crumbs; 1 medium free-range egg, beaten; 75g po­lenta; 1-2tbsp olive oil; 50g salted but­ter, plus; 1tbsp (op­tional); 400g cavolo nero, roughly chopped; Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

For the rose­mary tomato sauce:

1tbsp olive oil; 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed; 1tsp finely chopped fresh rose­mary; 400g can cherry toma­toes; 1tbsp tomato puree


1. Place the beef, pork, ri­cotta, onions, gar­lic, rose­mary, Parme­san, bread­crumbs and beaten egg in a bowl and season with salt and pep­per. Mix well. Us­ing your hands, shape into 30 meat­balls and trans­fer to a plate. Cover with cling-film and place in the fridge for one hour, to set, so that they don’t crum­ble dur­ing cook­ing. You can also leave the meat­balls in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze them for up to a month, un­til you are ready to cook them.

2. While the meat­balls are chilling, make the rose­mary tomato sauce. Place a saucepan over a low heat and add the oil, then stir in the onion, gar­lic and rose­mary and sim­mer for two min­utes. Add the toma­toes and tomato puree, season with salt and pep­per and cook for 15 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

For the po­lenta. Pour 600ml wa­ter into a saucepan over a medium heat and season with salt and pep­per. Once the wa­ter has come to the boil, whisk in the po­lenta. Re­duce the heat, cover and cook for about 25 min­utes, stir­ring ev­ery five min­utes. Once it has cooked, stir in a ta­ble­spoon of olive oil or but­ter. 4. Now back to the meat­balls. Place a fry­ing pan over a medium heat and pour in one ta­ble­spoon of olive oil, add the meat­balls and brown on all sides. Then spoon the meat­balls into the tomato rose­mary sauce and cook for 15 min­utes.

Place the cavolo nero in a pan over a medium heat with the but­ter and season with salt and pep­per. Cook for five min­utes, turn­ing the leaves with tongs so they cook evenly.

Di­vide the po­lenta be­tween four warmed bowls, fol­lowed by the meat­balls, an ex­tra spoon­ful of the rose­mary tomato sauce and the cavolo nero.

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