This is one of those recipes I have been thinking about for a long time but never quite got around to making. Last weekend, when cleaning out the refrigerator on garbage night I noticed I had some fresh herbs and a tub of ricotta both nearing their expiration and decided it was time. The recipe takes a little while because you need to let the filling freeze for an hour or so but actual hands on time is minimal and totally worth it. I served these over “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) with sauce and fresh Parmesan and it was one of the best meals we have had in awhile. I made them on my prep cooking day and just added them to some sauce to reheat the night they were on the meal plan. I think they would freeze quite beautifully too.
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 tsp each fresh thyme, basil, parsley and oregano (if using dried decrease to 1/2 tsp)
3 cloves garlic- minced
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
1/2 c Panko (gluten free for me)
Salt & Pepper
1. Combine filling ingredients and drop by rounded 1/2 tsp onto foil lined plate. Make 16 “drops”. There will be extra filling. It works great as a cracker spread or a grilled sandwich with some fresh spinach and tomato.
2. Place in freezer for 1 hr or until frozen.
3. Once ricotta is frozen, Preheat oven to 375°. Combine meat mixture ingredients and combine thoroughly.
4. Take 1 oz of meat and flatten it in hand like a mini burger.
5. Place frozen ricotta ball in center and fold the meat around the ricotta. Roll between hands to smooth out.
6. Place on foil lined baking sheet.
7. Repeat 15 times
8. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes. Serve with sauce over pasta, zoodles or as a meatball sub! (or any other way you would like)