Spicy Pork Meatballs in Brothy Tomatoes and Toasted Fennel

Based on 2 ratings


Easy 👌


2 cloves garlic (grated)
4 cloves garlic
20 g chives
20 g parsley
125 g full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp smoked paprika powder (ground)
1½ tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp chili flakes
750 g mixed ground meat
2 tbsp olive oil
750 g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp distilled white vinegar
20 g mint
Pecorino cheese (for serving)
bread (for serving)


  • bowl (large)
  • baking sheet
  • sauté pan
  • tongs
  • platter
  • cooking spoon
  • grater
  • Step 1/7

    • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
    • 20 g chives
    • 20 g parsley
    • 125 g full-fat Greek yogurt
    • 2 tsp fennel seeds
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder (ground)
    • 1½ tsp flaky sea salt
    • 1 tsp chili flakes
    • bowl (large)

    Place the grated garlic in a medium bowl along with the chives (finely chopped), parsley (finely chopped, tender leaves and stems), yogurt, fennel seeds, paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix until well combined.

  • Step 2/7

    • 750 g mixed ground meat
    • pepper
    • baking sheet

    Add the meat (ground pork, lamb, beef, and/or turkey (feel free to mix!)), season with pepper, and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inches in diameter (about the size of a plum; I like these meatballs on the smaller side). Place on a baking sheet or large plate.

  • Step 3/7

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • sauté pan
    • tongs
    • platter

    Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a few meatballs at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Cook, using tongs or a spatula to occasionally gently rotate them, until they are all golden brown all over (they may not hold their perfectly round shape, but that is more than okay), 8 to 10 minutes. As the meatballs are browned, transfer them to a large serving platter or plate. Leave the remaining bits and fat in the pot.

  • Step 4/7

    • shallot
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • cooking spoon

    Add the shallot (thinly sliced) and sliced garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is tender and the garlic starts to brown a bit, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Step 5/7

    • 750 g cherry tomatoes
    • 4 tbsp distilled white vinegar

    Add the tomatoes (sungold or cherry tomatoes) and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they burst and start to become all saucy and caramelize a bit on the bottom of the pot, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the vinegar (distilled white vinegar orwhite wine vinegar) and 3 cups of water, scraping up any bits along the bottom. Bring to a strong simmer and reduce the sauce by about one-fourth, just until it thickens slightly (it should still be relatively brothy), 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Step 6/7

    Return the meatballs to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 7/7

    • 20 g mint
    • Pecorino cheese (for serving)
    • bread (for serving)
    • grater

    Remove from the heat. To serve, top the meatballs (either in individual bowls or right in the pot) with the mint and more crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, if you like. Drizzle with some olive oil and serve with the cheese (pecorino or parmesan) for grating and some toast (or crusty bread) for dipping.

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