Meat-Baller, Shot Caller: Lamb Meatball Recipe

I've always felt like the meatball/pasta sauce combo is a little retro, like I may as well don my flowered vintage party dress and pearls, and vacuum while they simmer.

Fine dining restaurants do modern variations on alot of old-school comfort foods, like grilled cheese sandwiches and tuna melts, but it's hard to make the meatball sexy. (See, that even sounds weird!)

So, this meatball recipe is not sexy. It is however, richly flavored, and the parmesan cheese/lamb combo gives it a little mystery while the abundance of parsley keeps it fresh. If it has to be retro, maybe my rich, mysterious meatball is like the rich, mysterious 1950's spy . . .but would that make my meatball James Bond?

I digress. As the meatballs simmer, they release alot their flavor into the sauce, which may be my favorite part. That means you can serve them as an appetizer with some french bread at a potluck (just double the batch and make them smaller) or a complement to some yummy pasta. Or, you could eat them by right out of the fridge for breakfast, like Papayablue.

(James Bond) Meatball Recipe

1 Onion, chopped fine
1/2 Bell Pepper, chopped fine
1 lb. ground Lamb
1/2 lb. ground Beef
2/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. Salt (if you use Romano cheese instead of Parm, omit the salt)
1/3 cup Bread Crumbs
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1 heaping cup minced Fresh Parsley
6 cups Pasta Sauce (use your favorite--you can use 5 cups sauce, 1 cup water)
3 large Garlic Cloves, crushed
Olive oil

In a large bowl combine the first 9 ingredients (everything but the pasta sauce, garlic, and oil). Form into meatballs. In heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking and brown meatballs.
Using tongs to turn and “scootch” meatballs to release before you turn. If working in batches, add 1 Tbs. oil to the pan between batches.
Spread a layer (2 cups) of pasta sauce in the bottom of a large pan, sprinkle with the crushed garlic cloves. Transfer the meatballs with a slotted spoon to the sauce as they are done browning.

When you are done browning the meatballs, drain the excess oil out of the skillet and remove any large burned pieces. Add 1 cup of pasta sauce to the skillet, and stir until all the browned bits release from the bottom of the skillet and incorporate into the sauce. Add this mixture to the pot of meatballs and sauce. (Sorry no pics!)

Cover the meatballs with the remaining sauce, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for approx. 30 minutes, carefully stirring occasionally. (I just give the pot a good shake). Remove the lid, and simmer for 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken. Serve, and enjoy!


  1. Looks good! I try not to do too much frying in my tiny tiny kitchen in my tiny tiny nearly windowless apartment, so I roast the meatballs in the oven. 450 fahrenheit until golden brown, then add to sauce.

  2. OOh, Laura, that's a good idea! Thanks for that input.

  3. Oh lamb meatballs! These look just deeeelicious. I bet they would be great as mini-meatballs as an appetizer.

  4. Hey, E, I just made these meatballs, and they are SOOOOOO DELICIOUS!!! I am trying to not eat any more, otherwise I'll puke at the gym. But after the gym, I shall indulge :). I'll be blogging about making these in a few days! Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. WooohoooChristina! I think you are my first recipe-maker, and I'm really, really happy they turned out. It's alot of chopping, huh? But how about that lamb-flavored sauce? :)

  6. I'd like to use this as my recipe of the week for my column at DC edition. I can be reached at