1/2 Cup Onion, grated (about half a large onion)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsps. Olive oil
1 Cup day old bread, small diced and soaked in milk (about 1 slice of bread and 1/2 cup milk)
1 Lb. Ground lamb
1 Tbsp. Fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 Tsp. Ground coriander
1 Tsp. Ground cumin
1/2 Tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/8 Tsp. Fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 20 grinds)
Baked Feta and Pasta
Make the baked feta pasta and add meatballs as directed.
1) Make the Baked Feta and Pasta recipe and while the sauce is in the oven, prepare and cook the meatballs.
2) In a small skillet, sweat the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
3) Squeeze the excess milk out of the soaked bread cubes. Loosen the bread so it isn’t all in one ball. It will mix better with the other ingredients if you separate some of the bread before adding to the other items.
4) Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and break up the meat and mix in all the other ingredients with a large spoon. Once combined, divide the mixture into 8 even pieces and roll into balls. The meatballs will be wet and soft. That is just the way you want them so they are moist once cooked.
5) In a cast iron skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry in the skillet until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. The meatballs are delicate and will fall apart if not handled carefully. So turn them gently until browned on all sides. They’ll completely finish cooking in the sauce. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels to remove the excess fat.
6) Once your tomato feta sauce is finished cooking and you’ve broken up the block of feta and combined everything into a sauce, add the meatballs to the sauce and spoon sauce over the meatballs. Let cook five more minutes in the oven before adding the pasta.
7) Add your cooked pasta and combine everything together. Serve the pasta and meatballs in pasta bowls and garnish with fresh oregano leaves. Enjoy!
NOTES: I took Covid’s TikTok sensation and one of my favorite sauces (Baked Feta Pasta) and added these great lamb meatballs to create one fabulous meal! It is the perfect Sunday supper… the meal you wait for all week.
During Covid, I too tried this feta pasta and tinkered with it until it was just right for me. I’ve made it over and over to rave reviews. I wanted to kick it up a bit and serve it for a big Sunday dinner party I was throwing and decided to add lamb meatballs to the mix. This is the perfect Greek inspired meal and one everyone seems to love.
When making the meatballs, these are just a couple of tips to make sure they turn out great. You’ll only need about one slice of bread soaked in up to 1/2 cup of milk. I just make sure the bread is covered in the bowl or measuring cup I’m using. Let it site 5-10 minutes then squeeze out that excess milk. FYI: I’ve used skim milk, 1%, etc. They all work just fine and add the right amount of moisure to the meatball, The other important note for handling this wet bread is to “fluff it” a bit with a fork to break up the pieces before adding to the meat mixture. This will keep it from clumping together in one spot.
These are soft meatballs which mean they can fall apart if you don’t handle them gently. They come together once cooked but be gently when flipping them to brown on all sides. Another note on the lamb meatball; they give off a lot of fat when cooked so you definitely want to drain them on paper towels before adding to your sauce.
The heat in this dish is fairly mild and comes from the chili flakes. I prefer a lightly spiced dish but if you like it hotter, feel free to add more chili flakes.
If you are inspired to have your own Greek feast, here is a sample menu. I start the meal off with my Classic Hummus and grilled pita bread, then serve my Greek Lettuce Cups before pulling out this dish. The feta bakes with the fresh tomatoes, spices and olive oil to create the most amazing sauce. I mix in cooked pasta and these meatballs and you’ve got an amazing explosion of flavor. Yes, you can definitely use beef, turkey or pork meatballs with this dish. I went with lamb to keep those Mediterranean flavors going.
Note: These meatballs are great with a Marinara Sauce or my Tomato Butter Sauce too. I’ve also made these into cocktail meatball size (instead of 8 meatballs, make this mix into 16 meatballs) and served them with a Tzatkiki sauce on the side. Really good.
I love the big Italian feasts I had growing up in NYC. The sauce cooked all day on the stove and there was pasta and meatballs, garlic bread and more. Well this meal hits all those familiar notes but with a Greek twist and if I do say so myself, it is a darn good twist.
Give this one a try and if you like Greek food be sure to try my Lamb Meatball Souvlaki, Greek Turkey Zucchini Canoes or my Greek Style Shrimp, Feta and Orzo dinners. They all have those Mediterranean flavors you’ll love.