Lamb and ricotta polpettine with summer herb and tomato sauce

all details

Polpettine is the Italian word for little patties or rissoles. They can be made from meat, seafood, rice or vegetables. This lamb and ricotta mixture must be rested overnight, otherwise the polpettine will be dry and won't stay together.

Lamb and ricotta polpettine with summer herb and tomato sauce
Photo: Domino Postiglione

Ingredients

  • Polpettine
  • 700g lamb mince
  • 300g fresh ricotta
  • 100g parmesan, grated
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 4 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped fennel tops
  • 1 bunch chives, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Summer herb and tomato sauce
  • 1kg tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eschalots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup each chopped basil and parsley, leaves only
  • ½ cup (in total, when chopped) mixture of fresh dill, coriander, chives, oregano, fennel tops,
  • arragon and marjoram
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Method 

Polpettine

In a large bowl, mix lamb, ricotta and parmesan. Heat 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and gently fry onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Add spices, herbs and pine nuts. Fry, mixing gently, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat eggs in small bowl and add to lamb and cheese along with breadcrumbs and cooled mixture of onions, spices and herbs. Season then mix well with hands. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. Form polpettine by scooping 1 heaped tbsp of mixture into your hands and pressing into patties. Cook in batches by heating 1 tbsp butter to 1½ tbsp olive oil. Once butter and oil are foaming, fry polpettine until well browned on both sides. Serve hot or cold with summer herb and tomato sauce (recipe below), by themselves or as hamburger patties.

Summer herb and tomato sauce

If using fresh tomatoes, bring large pot of salted water to rolling boil and carefully plunge tomatoes in for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and place in bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Remove skin. For fresh and canned tomatoes, cut each in half and squeeze out seeds. Roughly chop flesh and place in bowl. Heat olive oil in saucepan and gently fry eschalots and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer and mix in herbs and a few pinches of salt. Simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce is thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 750ml

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  • Main Ingredients - Lamb

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