Pine nuts, currants, and plenty of Parmesan cheese go into these easy Sicilian-style meatballs. Serve it with a simple ragù and pasta (recipe below) or on toasted hoagie rolls with melted provolone for an amazing Sicilian-style meatball sub!
These meatballs are plump, juicy, and loaded with flavor. The sweetness and nuttiness of currants and pine nuts just work so well with the pork. Heavy cream, eggs, parmesan cheese keep these meatballs decadent and moist as they cook!
We prepare a simple ragu using carrots which add a nice sweetness to offset the acidity of the tomatoes. Serve these meatballs and ragu over a wide pasta like fettuccine or tagliatelle or a tubular pasta like rigatoni!
Easy Sicilian-Style Meatballs
- Wide pan
- Large pot
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
- ½ cup breadcrumbs plus more if necessary
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 shallot peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 eggs beaten
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup dry currants
- ½ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1½ pounds ground pork beef, or a mix of the two
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil for frying
Pasta and Ragù
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 3 carrots peeled and small-diced
- ½ cup beef stock or red wine
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 16 ounces pasta of your choice
- Salt pepper, crushed red pepper, and sugar to taste
Prepare the Meatballs:
- In a mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the milk and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese, shallot, garlic, eggs, pine nuts, currants, and chopped parsley and mix to combine. Add the ground meat and season liberally with salt and pepper. Work with your hands, being careful not to over-mix, until the all the ingredients are combined.
- Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a meatball, being careful not to overwork the meat, and transfer to a plate. Form the rest of the mixture into meatballs. Set aside.
Fry the Meatballs:
- In a wide sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add the meatballs, cooking in batches if necessary, in an even layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until well-browned all over, about 15 minutes total. Remove the meatballs from the pan and transfer to a plate. Wipe out the excess oil from the pan, leaving any fond in the skillet.
Prepare the Ragù:
- Heat 1 teaspoon cooking oil in the pan over medium heat until very hot. Add the onion and cook for 4-6 minutes until golden brown and beginning to soften.Add the carrots and cook for 8-9 minutes, stirring regularly, until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Pour in the stock or wine and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Bring to a boil for 5-6 minutes until reduced slightly.
- Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Cook the Pasta:
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to package instructions.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with the meatballs. Enjoy!