pork, oregano and stracchino
- 1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk
- 800g pork mince
- 1½ cups (120g) finely grated pecorino
- ½ cup oregano leaves, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups (50g) finely chopped kale leaves
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200g stracchino+, chopped into 2cm pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 1½ cups (375ml) chicken stock
- 1 cup (140g) ditalini or baby tube pasta
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to soak.
- Add the pork, pecorino, oregano, egg yolk, kale, salt, pepper and half the garlic, and mix to combine.
- Roll ⅓ cup of the pork mixture into a ball and push a cube of stracchino into the centre. Repeat with remaining pork mixture and stracchino.
- Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook the meatballs, in 2 batches, turning, for 5 minutes or until golden.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes or until softened.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stock and pasta and stir to combine.
- Return the meatballs to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Sprinkle with pepper to serve. Serves 4–6.
+ Stracchino is a soft, mild-flavoured cow’s milk cheese. Find it at delicatessens. You can use provolone or mozzarella if unavailable.
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