Italian Wedding Risotto with garlicky meatballs

Italian Wedding Risotto with Garlicky Meatballs.  Homemade meatballs are infinitely better than storebought, and with a cookie scoop, the easiest to make!  I love to make a double batch of whatever meatball recipe I am making to freeze for later.  It’s really too easy not to!  

I absolutely love risotto (a type of rice found in most grocery stores).  This combination of risotto, cheese, sauce, and meatballs is so divine!  It is mostly a one-dish meal also other than baking the meatballs in the oven.  


• 1 pound ground pork
• 1/2 cup Panko
• Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, grated from a block, divided
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I did not use)
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 5 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more to taste
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 cup butter, divided
• 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice (risotto)
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 3 cups baby spinach, torn (I did not use)


Preheat oven to high broil with rack 9 inches from heat. Combine pork, Panko, 1/2 cup cheese, parsley, egg, half of the garlic, half of the salt and half of the pepper in a stand mixer. Mix on low until combined. Do not over mix. (You can also do this by hand). Roll into 20 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each). Place on broiler-safe baking sheet or stone. Broil until browned and cooked through, approximately 9 minutes. Set aside.

Combine chicken broth and water in medium sauce pan and heat to simmer. 

In a heavy skillet heat oil and 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until onion is translucent. Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring often, until almost completely reduced, approximately 2 minutes. 

Add 1 cup of the warm broth to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add remaining stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until liquid has been absorbed after each addition. Stir often for 20 minutes. I covered the pot in between this 20 minute time interval, lifting to stir.

Remove from heat. Stir in remaining cheese and remaining butter. Stir in spinach if using. Add meatballs on top.

Link to recipe:

(Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and cookbook author.)

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