Lamb meat­balls in yo­gurt, pea and herb broth

Living Etc - - ENTERTAINING / ETC -

serves 4

For the meat­balls

500g lamb mince

100g ri­cotta

50g dry bread­crumbs 1 gar­lic clove, crushed Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 large egg leaves picked from 30–40g mint,

finely shred­ded

½tsp sea salt

½tsp black pep­per

For the broth

600ml veg­etable stock

3 bay leaves

1 gar­lic bulb, cut in two through the mid­dle 350g mix­ture of sugar snap peas, mangetout and freshly pod­ded peas leaves stripped from 15g chervil, roughly chopped to serve a cooked grain, seed or pasta of your choice Plain yo­gurt Mix to­gether all the meat­ball in­gre­di­ents in a bowl, keep­ing a quar­ter of the shred­ded mint to one side, then get your hands dirty and roll the mix­ture into balls about the size of a wal­nut, 20–25g each, if you’re into mea­sur­ing. Ar­range the meat­balls on a bak­ing tray and, if you have time, re­frig­er­ate for 1 hour or more.

Around 30 min­utes be­fore you plan to serve, heat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/ Gas 3. Re­move the meat­balls from the fridge. Once the oven’s hot, bake the meat­balls for 10 min­utes.

At the same time, bring the stock, bay leaves and gar­lic to the boil in a wide saucepan, then re­duce the tem­per­a­ture and sim­mer for 5 min­utes. Trans­fer the baked meat­balls to the stock and poach for 5 min­utes be­fore adding the sugar snaps, mangetout and fresh peas. Sim­mer for a fur­ther 2 min­utes, then re­move the pan from the heat and leave the greens to warm through and the broth to cool a lit­tle. Stir the chervil and re­main­ing mint through the broth and meat­balls, then serve with a grain, seed or pasta of your choice and a dol­lop or two of yo­gurt to stir through the broth.

COOK'S NOTE: Serve the meat­ball broth with some­thing savoury and nutty like quinoa or whole­meal grains such as pearl bar­ley or bul­gur wheat. Light pas­tas, such as orzo or lin­guine, work very well, too.

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