The beauty of Paul Chahidi’s Mediterranean Pork, Lemon and Parmesan Meatballs recipe is that it somehow manages to be both hearty and light.
- 500g pork mince
- 80g breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- A good handful of flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
- 80g parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500ml chicken stock
- 300g orzo pasta (approximately 75g per person)
Preheat your oven to 200°c. Place the pork mince and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, reserving a pinch of zest for garnish. Add the chopped parsley, again reserving a generous pinch for garnish, and all the thyme leaves, then grate the parmesan into the mixture. Season with a couple of pinches of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Thoroughly combine the ingredients using your hands and form 12 meatballs, approximately the size of golf balls.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the meatballs in batches, until browned. Place the meatballs in a shallow ovenproof dish and add enough boiling chicken stock to reach halfway up the meatballs in the dish. Cook the meatballs in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Halfway through the cooking time, prepare the orzo pasta according to the packet instructions (usually this takes 8 to 10 minutes).
Drain the pasta and divide equally between four wide, shallow bowls. Add three cooked meatballs to each of the bowls and spoon a decent amount of the broth over the meatballs and orzo. Garnish with the reserved parsley leaves and pinch of lemon zest.
Serve with steamed greens (I usually have tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli, or cavolo nero) and lemon wedges.
One of my family's firm favourites, full of the flavours of the Mediterranean. The beauty of this dish is that it somehow manages to be both hearty and light.
Quick and easy to make, if you don't have fresh herbs just use dried ones from the store cupboard.
About this recipe
Paul Chahidi's Mediterranean Pork, Lemon and Parmesan Meatballs is taken from Food and Kindness - a new cookbook to help raise awareness and funds for Sobell House hospice featuring a collection of over 30 stories and recipes from a wide range of celebrities - Mary Berry, Stephen Fry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins - as well as Oxfordshire-based restaurants.