Veal Ricotta Meatballs AKA the Oddball

Akhtar Nawab, the chef at CraftBar in NYC, came up with the Ultimate meatball recipe, the meatball recipe that ends all meatball recipes…period, zip, no argument.

I am aware that making such a bold statement might spark an underground revolution, the Meatball purists could arise at sunrise and plot a revolt (…ah poetry!)and the Italians from the ‘hood might send an apron wearing Mama’s death Squad, armed with rolling pins, but… I am not afraid to stand bold and proud by my statement: This is the best meatball recipe, Ever!

“How could a man named Nawab create the Ultimate Meatball recipe?” you ask. Well i don’t know, but i once knew a man called Benetteto that couldn’t cook to save his life so don’t judge a book by it’s cover (…). I have much respect for your mama and i am certain she makes a hell of a meatball but trying this recipe will make you a believer. Afterward, you can always claim you invented it, who cares!…Nawab doesn’t.

What makes those meatballs so special is their melt-on-your-tongue texture, no fancy shmancy technique a la Ferran Adria, it’s the whooping 50/50 ratio of ground veal for Ricotta that turn those meatballs into little pillows.

I accept to rename the recipe “Veal Ricotta Oddballs” as an act of good will. I hope it will calm down the rebellion… and also because…euhh let’s face it, they are kind of odd, 50/50 who are they kidding? But odd is the new black so be a man…euhh or a woman and try it, okay?

Veal Ricotta Oddballs
(serves 6)
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground veal
  • 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350’F
  2. In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, place the veal, ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper (keep all the ingredients cold before starting)
  3. Mix at medium speed until the mixture comes together, about 30 seconds
  4. Dust your hands with flour and form the mixture into oddballs (1 1/2 in diameter)
  5. Pour 1 inch of oil into a large non-stick skillet over high heat
  6. Sear the oddballs in batches until golden brown on all sides. Tranfer to a tray lined with paper towels
  7. Clean the skillet, add the tomatoes, the butter, basil and garlic
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the oddballs
  9. Cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour or until the sauce is thick
  10. Adjust seasoning if necessary
  11. Serve over fresh pasta sprinkled with chopped basil and parmesan
  12. Enjoy

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  • Andrew

    thanks admin.delicious..iam going to prepare it soon..

  • Name

    When frying these, they are so tender that they tend to fall apart or assume a decidedly non-ball shape. I don’t have a stand mixer so I just mixed it by hand, which may be a contributing factor. What am I doing wrong? How can I make them stay together?