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Pork Meatballs with Currants

Dinner time will never be the same thanks to these zesty and delicious Pork Meatballs with Currants!

If you are tired of the same old meatball recipe…then today’s delicious and zesty Pork Meatballs with Currants is for you!

These little bites of goodness get their fantastic flavor from a mix of ground pork and sweet Italian sausage – plus onions, garlic and fennel. But the delicious, flavor surprise in these pork meatballs comes from the addition of dried currants to the meatball mixture! The currants add a truly wonderful sweetness to the meat that is a perfect complement to the spiciness of the pork and other seasonings.

Dinner time will never be the same thanks to these zesty and delicious Pork Meatballs with Currants!

Adding currants to meatballs is a very “Sicilian” thing to do in Italian cuisine.  In fact, many Sicilian meatball recipes add both currants as well as pine nuts to the mix. (Although we didn’t add pine nuts to our Pork Meatballs with Currants, you could certainly add some to the mixture if you’d like!)

After mixing, the Pork Meatballs with Currants are baked part of the way in the oven, then cooked until tender and tasty in a simple, homemade tomato sauce which we include in the recipe below.

Dinner time will never be the same thanks to these zesty and delicious Pork Meatballs with Currants!

These Pork Meatballs with Currants can be served as an appetizer, sliced and eaten on a sub roll, or served – like we did – over a curly Campanelle pasta for dinner.  Either way, we predict these meatballs will become a new family favorite!

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Pork Meatballs with Currants

Pork Meatballs with Currants - A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 ounces (in weight) white bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 2-3 slices)
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces onion (in weight)
  • 2 ounces celery (in weight), about 1 medium stalk
  • 4 ounces peeled carrots (in weight), about 1-2 carrots
  • ½ ounce garlic (in weight) about 2-3 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dry fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup currants
  • 2 whole eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing.

Tomato Sauce

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces onion (in weight), shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • ½ ounce garlic passed through a garlic press, about 2-3 cloves
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans kitchen-ready crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound Campanelle pasta, or your favorite pasta

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl soak bread with milk.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and pulse until chopped fine.
  4. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, dry roast fennel seeds for about two minutes or until slightly browned.
  5. Add oil and vegetable mixture from food processor along with Italian seasoning.
  6. Cook for five minutes and add currants. Cook for one minute and remove from heat and add to the bowl with the bread and milk.
  7. Once the mixture has cooled, add eggs, salt, pepper and Parmesan. Stir to combine.
  8. Add pork and sausage meat and gently mix just to incorporate ingredients but do not over mix.
  9. Use an ice cream scoop and scoop out 14 meatballs.
  10. Line a small sheet tray with parchment paper and roll each scoop into a ball and place on the sheet tray.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. While meatballs are cooking, start to heat water for pasta by following box directions.
  13. In a separate large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, garlic, pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. Cook for four minutes and add wine.
  14. Cook for two minutes and add tomatoes, sugar and salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Then stir in Parmesan.
  15. After 20 minutes remove meatballs from oven and add to the sauce.
  16. Cover sauce and meatballs and add a heat defuser under the pot and cook for 30 minutes at a medium low simmer.
  17. About 15 minutes before the pot of sauce and meatballs are done; cook the pasta according to box directions.
  18. To serve, drain pasta and place on platter topped with meatballs and sauce.
  19. Alternatively you can drain the pasta just before it is fully cooked, reserving a cup of pasta water. Place the pasta back into the pot and ladle in half of the sauce and thin with a little pasta water if needed and heat until pasta is fully cooked. Then serve with remaining sauce and meatballs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


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Dinner time will never be the same thanks to these zesty and delicious Pork Meatballs with Currants!

Comments

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  1. Wow! This is tempting ! Very much! Already on my to do list !
    Happy cooking !

  2. These look great! I’ve never had meatballs with currants before but it sounds like a fun flavor combination. Thanks for sharing!

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