Juicy meatballs are nestled on a bed of creamy polenta, all topped off with marinara sauce. A combination of pasture raised ground pork and grass fed ground beef is formed into meatballs and baked until browned and bubbling. Soft polenta acts as the perfect base, soaking up any excess marinara sauce.
Meatballs with Polenta and Marinara
yields: 25 – 2″ meatballs
serves: 4 people
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- 1 lb. Ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 medium Onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Paparika
- 2 Tbsp. Oat flour (I just pulse some oats in my coffee grinder or food processor – or use breadcrumbs)
- 3/4 tsp. Chili flakes
- 3/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
- 2 tsp. Oregano, dried
- 1 tsp. Fennel seeds (I like to grind mine in a coffee grinder)
- 1/2 cup Parsley, packed (stems removed)
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 – 28oz. can Tomatoes (I use whole tomatoes, but diced or crushed are also fine)
- 1 tsp. Rosemary, dried
- 1/2 tsp. Chili flakes
- 1/4 cup Red wine (or 2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp. Oregano, dried
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 3 cups Water
- 1 tsp. Salt
For the meatballs: heat oven to 400°F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (I use my hands for this). Form into 2″ balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating the tray half way, until cooked through.
For the sauce: While the meatballs are cooking make your sauce. Heat oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in garlic, rosemary and chile flakes. Cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in red wine (or red wine vinegar), reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes, until reduced.
Add tomatoes and oregano, let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point you can puree for a smooth sauce (I use an immersion blender), or leave it chunky. Add salt to taste, 1/4 teaspoon at a time (the amount of salt needed will depend on if your tomatoes are salted or not)
For the polenta: After you rotate the meatballs, bring water to a boil in a medium or large pot. Measure out polenta, place in a bowl and stir in salt.
When water is boiling, whisk as you slowly pour in the polenta. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to whisk occasionally for 5 minutes. Place lid on pot, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
As the polenta cools it will firm up. If it becomes too thick, stir in 1/4 cup of water and reheat over medium.
To serve: spoon polenta onto plate or into bowls, top with meatballs and marinara.