Pork and Ricotta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Torn Basil and Parmesan



Let your guests make their own meatball sandwiches. Precut buns and prepare additional toppings like grated cheese, caramelized onions and peppers…

Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon on behalf of The National Pork Board.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (80/20*)
  • 1/2 cup wheat bread (day old, diced)
  • 2 ounces whole milk
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves (if desired)
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander (if desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 spanish onion (large, finely diced, 1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 56 ounces San Marzano tomatoes (2 cans, with their juice)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
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    1. Meatballs: Soak the bread in the milk in a medium-size bowl.
    2. In a separate bowl, mix the pork with all remaining meatball ingredients (ricotta cheese, minced garlic, minced shallot, parsley leaves, lemon zest, coriander, cinnamon, kosher salt, basil leaves, Parmesan cheese).
    3. After the bread has thoroughly soaked up the milk, remove it from the bowl and ring out the remaining liquid.
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