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Marsala Meatballs


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup Marsala

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground veal or ground chicken

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Zest of 1 lemon


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add butter. When it foams, add mushrooms and brown. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and sweat the shallots for a minute or two. Add Marsala and let reduce to 3-4 tablespoons. Cool mushrooms completely. 

Place ground meat in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add cooled mushrooms and Marsala mixture, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, lemon zest and a tablespoon of olive oil - a fat drizzle. Roll balls with oiled hands or with a scoop into balls a bit larger than walnuts and roast in 400 oven until brown and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.