When paired with Cabernet Sauvignon, these pork and ricotta meatballs enhance the structure and fullness of our wines, while the wine enhances the savory flavors of the meat. These meatballs are incredibly versatile and can be used as a main course, appetizer, or hors d’ oeuvre depending on what size you choose to make them. Cooking the meatballs in a basic marinara sauce keeps them moist while flavoring the sauce at the same time. Leftover meatballs can be used for a meatball sandwich for lunch with some melted cheese and crusty bread.


(Servings depend on the size of the meatballs)


1 pound Ground pork

¼ pound Ground veal (feel free to use beef as a substitute)

1 pound Ricotta cheese, drained in a fine sieve for 2 hours

1 cup Day old bread, crusts removed, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 cup Whole milk

¾ cup Grated parmesan cheese

½ tblspn Crushed red chili flakes

½ tblspn Whole fennel seeds

1 ea Fresh egg

2 tblspn Finely minced fresh garlic

1 ½ tblspn Kosher salt

2 ½ quarts Basic tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Soak the bread in the milk for about five minutes, or until softened. Drain out the excess milk and squeeze the bread until it is spongy but not soaked. Discard the milk. Mix the bread and the rest of the ingredients, except the tomato sauce, in a large mixing bowl. Do this by hand and be sure not to overwork the ingredients (it does not have to be a homogenous mix). Form the meatballs to your desired size (rubbing a bit of olive oil on your hands helps this to be a quicker and less-sticky process). Place the meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle meatballs with a bit of olive oil and roast for 12- 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, bring the basic tomato sauce to a simmer. Once meatballs are browned, remove the meatballs, then decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer the meatballs to a heavy casserole dish and pour the tomato sauce over them. Cover with foil and bake in the 325 degree oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs (larger ones will take longer than small “one bite” mini ones). Serve immediately. 

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Pork and Ricotta Meatballs Recipe Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing - winely.us/a/fb15

Pairs well with:
Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon