Burrata with Meatballs and Polenta
½ lb (250 g) ground pork
½ lb (250 g) ground beef
1 egg, beaten
½ cup (125 ml) bread crumbs
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped Italian parsley
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) ground pepper, divided
½ cup (125 ml) grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided, plus extra for garnish
extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
½ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x 28 oz (796 ml) can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 cup (250 ml) milk
½ cup (125 ml) polenta
2 tbsp (30 ml) cold butter
4 x 4 oz (125 g) burrata cheese
1 handful fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- In a bowl, combine ground meats, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, ½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper and ¼ cup (60 ml) Parmigiano Reggiano. Roll into twelve 1½ oz (45 g) meatballs.
- In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, fry meatballs in olive oil, working in batches if necessary, until golden brown on all sides but not cooked all the way through. Remove meatballs and all but 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil from pan. Return to medium heat.
- Sweat onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add meatballs and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. Check and adjust seasoning. Meatballs and sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead, as flavours will only develop more over time.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring milk and 1 cup (250 ml) water to a boil. Season with salt and remaining ½ tsp (2.5 ml) pepper. Slowly whisk in polenta and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid it sticking to bottom of saucepan, until polenta is thick and cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in butter and remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Divide polenta between 4 dishes. Top each with 3 meatballs, some sauce and a ball of burrata. Garnish with basil and more Parmigiano Reggiano.