Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mascarpone Meatballs in Romano Cheese Broth

Cheese-stuffed meatballs are extra rich and pleasantly salty—and, of course, delicious. I’ve added Parmesan, Romano, and mozzarella to a meatball mix, but never mascarpone. This wonderfully sweet Italian cream cheese is a bit stiffer than the American version, but that means it helps hold the meatballs together during cooking—and so does refrigeration. I always like to give meatballs time to chill before cooking, no matter the ingredients.

Instead of a sauce, the pasta and meatballs here are served in a cheesy broth—yes, more cheese, in the form of melted Romano. But take note: The chunks of Romano will melt—just not all the way. As the broth simmers, mash the pieces a little with the back of a spoon to help break them up, but some will remain when the meatballs are finished cooking. Serve little pieces along with the broth and discard any larger ones.

Tip: I didn’t specify a pasta amount in this recipe because it depends on the number of meatballs per serving. The meat-mascarpone mixture makes 16, about one-and-a-half-inch in diameter. Hearty eaters will want three or four. Two will be satisfying for others. Regardless, plan on two ounces of pasta for each serving.

Serves 4-6

  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup panko (or other dry breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1-X-2-inch pieces of Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp small thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • cooked, drained whole-wheat fettuccine, for serving
Shredded Romano Cheese and Romano Pieces
  1. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and let stand 30 minutes (to soften and warm a bit). Add the ground beef, egg yolk, panko, grated Romano cheese, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 16 meatballs (about 1-1/2-inch diameter) and place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Beef-Mascarpone Mixture 
Meatballs Ready to Chill
  1. Heat a Dutch oven (or large, deep skillet) over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the meatballs and sear, turning 3-4 times, until browned on all sides, 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and pieces of Romano cheese. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, occasionally mashing and breaking the cheese pieces as they melt. Stir in the parsley and thyme.
Beginning to Sear
Broth and Cheese Added
Herbs Stirred In
Partially Melted Cheese
Divide the cooked pasta among 4 shallow bowls and top with meatballs and broth. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Mascarpone Meatballs in Romano Cheese Broth

No comments:

Post a Comment