A simple vegetarian antipasto that is sure to kick-start an Italian meal. Other leafy greens (e.g., chard, beet greens, dandelions, arugula, etc.) could easily substitute for spinach.
Polpette di Spinaci e Ricotta
- Spinich Ricotta Balls
- 8 oz Spinach
- 8 oz Fresh ricotta
- Grana Padano cheese
- 2 oz Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbs Extra virgin olive
- 1 Garlic clove
- Black pepper
- Breadcrumb coating
- 1 Egg
- Italian bread crumbs (sufficient to cover balls)
- Black pepper
- Step 1 Heat the oil with garlic clove (1), add the spinach and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often (2) until it has absorbed the oil and is somewhat dry (3).
- Step 2 Remove the garlic (4) and then drain the spinach into a colander, pressing lightly with a spatula to remove excess water. Allow it to cool (5). Once cool, chop the spinach into small pieces (6).
- Step 3 Put the ricotta in a bowl (if it has a lot of liquid, drain it first), (7), then add the spinach and grated cheese (8), salt and pepper and mix (9) .
- Step 4 Add the breadcrumbs (10) and continue to mix (11). Form the mixture into 1 1/2″ to 2″ balls (12)
- Step 5 You will get about 24 small balls (13). Roll them gently into a bowl with the beaten the egg, salt and pepper (14). Then roll them into another bowl with breadcrumbs to cover completely(15).
- Step 6 Place them on a baking tray (16-17). Bake them in a preheated oven at 400° for about 20 minutes. Serve hot!
If you prefer, you can keep your spinach and ricotta meatballs for 1-2 days at the most, refridgerated in a tightly covered container. Warm them in the oven or microwave before serving. Freezing is not recommended.
Make sure the spinach is well squeezed otherwise the dough will remain very damp. However, if you notice that it is actually too soft to mold, you can add another grated cheese such as Pecorino or Parmigiano, or more bread crumbs to dry the dough and mold it better.
Place a few leaves of fresh spinach with a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice under the spinach ricotta balls.