More delicate than the breadcrumb-bound variety, these meatballs rely on ricotta for moisture and tenderness. Drop them directly into a simmering tomato sauce, rather than browning them in oil — your stovetop will be happy! They'll keep their shape and flavor the sauce. They’ll also stay juicy. Toss any extra sauce with your favorite pasta.
|¼||cup olive oil|
|3||cloves garlic, smashed|
|¼||teaspoon crushed red pepper|
|2||cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes|
|1||teaspoon salt, plus more to taste|
1. In a wide, heavy pot over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. The garlic should be lightly browned. Carefully add the crushed tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is well flavored. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.
|¼||cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley|
|½||teaspoon black pepper|
|¼||cup freshly grated pecorino
|8||ounces (1 cup) whole milk ricotta|
|1||pound ground beef|
|Extra pecorino romano (for serving)|
1. In a bowl, combine the parsley, egg, salt, pepper, pecorino, and ricotta. Mix well with a fork. Add the ground beef and mix until combined. With wet hands, form the mixture into golf-ball- size rounds, dropping each one into the simmering sauce as you shape them.
2. Return the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
3. Gently jostle the meatballs with a spoon so they are all coated in sauce. Continue simmering for 5 minutes. Total simmering time is 20 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with pecorino romano.