Town’s Ricotta-Stuffed Meatballs Recipe

Chef Marc Dorion's Ottawa restaurant's cheese-filled staple.


6 cup cubed crustless white bread
2 cup milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
1⁄4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano
1 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
6 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 500g container top-quality ricotta
4 cup homemade tomato sauce


Step 1: In a medium bowl, soak bread in milk, eggs and 6 tbsp oil for 45 minutes. Pure?e in food processor until smooth.

Step 2: In a frying pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Transfer to plate to cool.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine meats, Pecorino, 1 cup Parmesan, parsley, bread mixture, onion mixture, salt and pepper. Mix well. Fry a small patty and taste for seasonings. Divide mixture into 3 oz balls. Place on oiled tray. Cover; chill overnight.

Step 4: To make filling, place ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over bowl. Chill overnight. Transfer drained ricotta to mixing bowl. Mix with remaining 1?2 cup Parmesan, and salt and pepper.

Step 5: Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat film of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry meatballs, turning, until golden brown. Transfer to a large baking dish. Cover with tomato sauce. Cover dish with foil. Bake 90 minutes. Remove cover and cool.

Step 6: Using apple corer, cut out middles of meatballs without going through. Using piping bag, fill each with ricotta mixture. Return to sauce. Reheat in 325°F oven, 20 minutes. Serve hot.

For another take on the meatball try roasted lamb meatballs.