Pork ‘n Pesto Meatballs

Home made pork and pesto meatballs for a Monday night dinner. Dunked in store-bought spicy and hearty Arrabiata sauce. The meatballs are bursting with flavor: Kaffir lime + cilantro + pine nuts pesto and a hint of fragrant spices, namely cardamom, fennel seeds and paprika. Simmered in the tangy tomato sauce along with fresh basil and some precious imported Sicilian dried oregano. Yum! A semi-home cooked, delectable and hearty dish, from my kitchen-to-table-3 hungry mouths waiting to devour it at dinner time! And of course, from my kitchen to your too 🙂

Servings: 4


Store-bought Arrabiata marinara sauce

1 cup chicken stock

For the meatballs:

1 lb. ground pork

I tbsp. fresh ginger + green chilli, minced

3/4 tsp. ground fennel

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

3/4 tsp. paprika

Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the pesto:

A big handful of fresh cilantro leaves + stems. Can also substitute with parsley

A handful of fresh mint leaves

4-5 kaffir lime leaves

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. pine nuts

Juice of a fresh lime

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. chopped red onion

For the garnish:

Fresh basil leaves

Crushed dried Sicilian oregano

In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the pesto and grind. Add a little water if need be.

In a bowl, add the ground pork along with the spices, ginger, green chillies and pesto. Incorporate it gently in the pork and mix so that all the components are well combined. Form into golf size meatballs.

In a non-stick pan, saute the meatballs in a little olive oil, just so that they develop a nice golden color. The pork will release it’s own fat and juice. Set aside the meatballs on a paper towel lined plate.

In the same pan, add the Arrabiata marinara sauce, say about 4 cups. I added some chicken stock to mellow it down if it’s too thick, and give the sauce added flavor. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or till meatballs are cooked.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of crushed Sicilian dried oregano. Serve hot with your favorite bread, pasta and/or rice.

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