Braised Sicilian Lamb Meatballs

Michael White

Marea - NYC

These meatballs are a perfect example of the straightforward and satisfying Italian cooking at the base of Michael White's sophisticated menu at Fiamma. At his Beard House dinner, White gussied these meatballs up with garnishes of spring peas, roasted lamb loin, marinated zucchini, and pecorino crema. But believe us, they stand on their own.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, sliced
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil as needed for sautéing


In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the flavors blend.

To prepare the meatballs, combine the lamb, pine nuts, raisins, Parmigiano, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, and a generous amount of black pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large, nonstick sauté pan. Form meatballs using about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture for each and place them in the hot oil. Fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the meatballs to the simmering sauce. When they are all in the sauce, turn down the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 1 hour.


4 servings