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Beef, ricotta and oregano meatballs

Posted on: 24.05.2021

These are perhaps the lightest, fluffiest meatballs we ever encountered! A brilliant, easy recipe from Ottolenghi ‘Simple’ that we have made a fair few times now. We like to serve it with rice on the side and extra Parmesan grated on top with a good amount of black pepper. Works well with steamed green beans, or as part of a Mezze!


  • 60ml Olive Oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 20g oregano leaves, chopped
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 500g beef mince (we like the extra lean, less than 5% fat)
  • 100g freshly made breadcrumbs
  • 250g ricotta
  • 60g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 20g parsley
  • salt and black pepper


  1. First up is the tomato sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan. Add half the onion, half the garlic and half the oregano. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the onions have softened but not browned. Add the tin of tomatoes, half the chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Meanwhile make the meatballs! Mix the remaining onion, garlic and most of the remaining oregano in a bowl with the mince, Parmesan, egg, breadcrumbs. ricotta, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Using your hands give everything a good mix and then shape into 12 balls (we like them big!)
  3. Sear the meatballs for around 8 minutes until browned. You may need to do this in two batches.
  4. Gently lower the meatballs into the sauce and top up with the remaining stock. Reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer gently for around 30 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to thicken the sauce and also rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve these beauties up with rice and steamed green beans. We love to sprinkle with more fresh oregano, extra Parmesan and black pepper. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a nice glass of your favourite red.

Recipe from Ottolenghi ‘Simple’.


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