Sausage Ricotta Meatballs

Sausage Ricotta Meatballs


1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 jars tomato basil spaghetti sauce


1. In a medium saucepan, cook pancetta or bacon over medium heat until softened but not quite crispy. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. (You probably won’t need a lot of salt since the pancetta is already so salty.) Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, pulse pieces of bread into fine crumbs in a food processor.

3. Combine sausage, parsley, fresh bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add pancetta, onion, and garlic mixture. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, and milk; add to meat mixture.

4. Shape meat into balls. (size of golf balls, maybe a little smaller, about 34 meatballs out of the mixture.) Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry meatballs in batches until browned but not necessarily cooked through.

5. Place about half a jar of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker; layer in meatballs and remaining sauce. Cover and cook on low until sauce is bubbly, about 3 hours.

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