Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pork and Lemon 'Polpettine' Meatballs

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

It's hard to beat the pleasure of eating meatballs—there's something universally satisfying about them, seasoned all the way to the center, flavorful as all get-out, juicy and filling. It's all the pleasures of eating meat, with almost guaranteed results: You get to pick the flavors, control the fat content, and shape them all into the right size so they cook properly. A pork chop can be dry or juicy depending on how much attention you're paying to it in the skillet, whether it's properly marbled, and your skill as a cook. But grind that pork into meatballs, and you take some of the guessing out of the game.

These are especially foolproof. The inimitable Nigel Slater comes to the rescue with these quick-to-prepare polpettine with a mixture dramatically seasoned with lemon, thyme, Parmesan, and minced up anchovies. That last part might sound a little odd, but the anchovies sort of disappear into the meat, leaving behind all their round, salty flavor.

I served these tossed with wide noodles dressed up with a little more olive oil and lemon, but they'd be good next to rice, too.

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