1.2 kilograms pork mince
2 eggs, beaten lightly
4 slices thick white toast bread, crusts removed
½ cup milk
3 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ cup ricotta
¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons chopped fennel or dill fronds
finely grated zest 1 large lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray
½ cup grated mozzarella
4 cups tomato passata
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300 grams polenta
600ml chicken stock
80 grams butter
1 cup grated Parmesan
⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
Meatballs: Break pork mince up in a large bowl and stir through the eggs.
Tear the bread roughly and place in a food processor with the milk. While it soaks, add the garlic cloves, the ricotta, chilli flakes, fennel seeds and fronds and lemon zest. Season well. Pulse until the mixture is just combined.
Add to the mince then mix together until well combined. Roll into 30 golf ball-size meatballs and place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Tomato sauce: Put the passata, caster sugar and crushed garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Set aside. You can make this element several days ahead and store, covered in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
To cook: Line a roasting dish with baking paper and place the meatballs on it, spaced evenly. Spray them lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven.
Reduce the oven to 180°C.
Pour two thirds of the tomato sauce into a large ovenproof serving dish. Add the meatballs and spoon the remaining sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes to heat through.
Polenta: Place the stock and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking to prevent lumps. Return to a low heat for 3-4 minutes and stir through the butter and Parmesan until very thick and smooth. Season to taste.
To serve: Ladle the polenta onto plates and top with the meatballs and tomato sauce. Scatter over the chopped parsley.