The recipe for meatballs with sausage and baked ricotta that I am sharing with you today is a dish that you are going to love; with an air of Italy, where it is said that they prepare the juiciest meatballs in the world . The cheese they contain, both in the meat and in the sauce, is undoubtedly responsible for this, and makes them such a tasty snack that young and old alike will want to eat again.

A sure-fire recipe for young and old alike is meatballs with sauce . Among the youngest at home, perhaps it is because of its characteristic round shape, which may be curious to them; although most likely it is because of how rich they are always. Among the elderly, especially among those who cook them, they are successful because we can leave them ready in advance and serve them whenever we want, which will be even richer than freshly made.

Despite having a name with a clear Arabic imprint, al-bunduqa (in Spanish, the ball), the origin of the meatballs is somewhat uncertain. It seems that it was the Arabs who taught the Spaniards who lived in Andalusia to prepare them. And although it is not known who shaped the first meatball, it is known that the upper class Romans were the ones who made them a dish of their own kitchens, becoming the most popular in the streets.

Today, we will cook them in the oven, with the skillet pan , in which we will also prepare the sauce and which will be ideal to give them the final touch. In this way they will be healthier and we will achieve a melting point of all the cheeses that, when integrated, will make you notice that unbeatable juiciness in each bite.

Prepare the bowl and clean hands, let's go with the recipe!

Skillet Le Creuset frying pan


For the sausage and ricotta meatballs

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 500 g minced Italian pork sausage*
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

*Italian pork sausage is a sausage made from minced pork and spices widely used in the US. You can substitute it for its equivalent, the Creole chorizo, or for the sausages that you usually use.

For the tomato basil sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (in flakes)*
  • 500 g crushed Italian tomato (or another variety for sauce)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 225 g grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*You can use sweet red pepper, paprika, or chili flakes if you want to give the dish a spicy touch.


For the meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs to a food processor with a metal blade and pulse until well ground.
  3. Put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, fennel, oregano, and pepper and stir to mix well. Add the minced meat and stir again carefully until everything is well integrated.
  4. With your hands or with the help of the tongs for meatballs and croquettes , form balls of about 5 cm with the meat. As you finish, place the meatballs in the Le Creuset 26cm Skillet Skillet .
  5. Bake them for 20 min. approximately until cooked.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven, reserve the meatballs on a plate, and allow the skillet to cool for about 5 minutes. Keep the oven on, as we need it hot to finish cooking the recipe.

for the sauce

  1. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until you can smell the garlic (the point at which it is slightly nutty) but not browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir well. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped basil and sugar and stir. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the meatballs back to the pan and stir carefully to coat them with the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle the meatballs with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and place the skillet in the preheated oven.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes or so.
  7. Serve with a good loaf of bread. Enjoy!


  • The Italian sausage meat (or the Creole chorizo) in the meatballs gives the dish a slightly stronger point of flavor than the meat of the pork sausages would give it, something that is important to take into account if the little ones are going to eat them From home.
  • The same is true if the red pepper flakes you add are somewhat (or very) spicy. Use your favorites for the sauce, you are sure to hit the mark!
  • Remember that the skillet pan is purely iron , so when it is heated on the stove, and especially in the oven, it will accumulate a lot of temperature. Therefore, to pick it up, it is ideal that you use the protective cover for the handle and that you help yourself by holding the handle of a pot holder or an oven mitt , so as not to burn yourself.

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