Pork Meatballs with Asiago Lemon & Parsley

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

Everyone adores a juicy meatball and that’s why practically every country has its own version. It has to be said that this recipe is basically Italian but hugely influenced by the Americans. The Southern Italian immigrants who moved to America at the turn of the century took liberties with the ‘polpetta’ (Italian for meatball) and morphed it into spaghetti and meatballs. Italians don’t usually eat them with pasta: they are more of a snack or a dish on their own.

Preparation: 30 Minutes
Cooking: 30 Minutes


  • 100 g ( oz/1⅔ cups) fresh fine breadcrumbs
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) milk
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 4 slices prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 60 g (214 oz) asiago, pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil


Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and soak for a few minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the oil and use your hands to combine well. Wash your hands, then rub them with a little oil: this will keep the mixture from sticking while you roll. Roll the mixture into golf-ball size pieces and place on the prepared tray.

To cook the meatballs, you can pan-fry or bake them. To pan-fry, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs in batches until they are golden all over. Drain on paper towel. Don’t try to turn the meatballs if they are sticking: sometimes they just need more time to brown and then release themselves.

To bake the meatballs, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) or 200°C (400°F) fan forced. Drizzle the meatballs on the tray with the oil and roll them around on the tray to coat. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through, shaking the tray halfway through cooking. Both methods produce great results but the pan-fried is a bit browner. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks and a little more chopped parsley sprinkled over them.