Meatballs & Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Meatballs & Polenta

with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

A popular dish in northern Italy, polenta is made simply by whisking cornmeal with liquid on the stovetop until it turns delightfully creamy. Here, we’re adding fromage blanc—an unaged French cheese—for even more creaminess. Our polenta is the perfect base for meatballs, seasoned with oregano and parmesan and simmered in a seasonal heirloom tomato sauce. (You may receive a red, yellow, or green tomato.)

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    770 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

In a small saucepan, combine 3 ½ cups of water and a big pinch of salt; heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Core and medium dice the tomato. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Form & brown the meatballs:
2 Form & brown the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, half the garlic, and half the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

To the pan, add the tomato, remaining garlic, ¼ cup of water, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil and stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the polenta:
4 Cook the polenta:

While the meatballs cook, add the polenta to the saucepan of boiling water; whisk to thoroughly combine.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking frequently, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the polenta has thickened. Turn off the heat.

Finish the polenta & plate your dish:
5 Finish the polenta & plate your dish:

Add the spice blend, fromage blanc, and a drizzle of olive oil to the saucepan of cooked polenta. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished polenta between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding) and remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

In a small saucepan, combine 3 ½ cups of water and a big pinch of salt; heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Core and medium dice the tomato. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Form & brown the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, half the garlic, and half the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned.

Form & brown the meatballs:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

To the pan, add the tomato, remaining garlic, ¼ cup of water, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil and stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the polenta:

While the meatballs cook, add the polenta to the saucepan of boiling water; whisk to thoroughly combine.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking frequently, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the polenta has thickened. Turn off the heat.

Cook the polenta:
Finish the polenta & plate your dish:
5 Finish the polenta & plate your dish:

Add the spice blend, fromage blanc, and a drizzle of olive oil to the saucepan of cooked polenta. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished polenta between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding) and remaining cheese. Enjoy!

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