The classic Italian meatball goes sophisticated in this rapid yet gourmet meal. Rich lamb replaces boring beef and the sauce is seasoned with tangy vinegar and fire-roasted tomatoes.
Sub out pasta for quick-cooking polenta jazzed up with honey and fresh rosemary. Serve with a glass of red wine and a green salad. To kick-start your weekend with this mouth-watering meal,
3 slices whole wheat bread, crusts discarded, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 large cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
One 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
1 cup polenta
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- In a bowl, moisten the bread with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Add the lamb, egg, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Form the mixture into 8 meatballs.
- Brush with olive oil and set 2 inches apart on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and cook it off, 1 minute. Stir in 2/3 cup chicken broth, then the tomatoes.
- Bring the sauce just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups chicken broth and the milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, lower the heat and cook, whisking, until the polenta is thick but spoonable, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the honey, butter, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. If it gets too thick, add water or more milk.
- Spoon the polenta into bowls; top with the meatballs and sauce.
- Main Dishes, Lamb