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Ricotta and Cinnamon Meatballs

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings (36 Meatballs)
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1 large or 2 small shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 large egg 

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1 pound ground beef chuck (80 percent lean) 

1/4 cup orzo pasta 

1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese 

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

One 23.5-ounce jar store-bought marinara sauce


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallots, garlic, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg. With a wooden spoon, stir in the ground beef, orzo, ricotta and basil. Add the salt, pepper and 1/4 cup water and mix well.
  2. Bring the marinara to a simmer in a shallow 12-inch skillet. Form the meat mixture into balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each). Drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve on small toothpicks or skewers.
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