Roasted Lamb Meatballs with Red Sauce and Polenta


  • 3 slices whole wheat bread, crusts discarded, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for brushing
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • One can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary


Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

In a bowl, moisten the bread with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Add the lamb, egg, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Form the mixture into 8 meatballs. Brush with EVOO and set 2 inches apart on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO , 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook it off, 1 minute. Stir in 2/3 cup chicken broth, then the tomatoes. Bring the sauce just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups chicken broth and the milk to a boil. Whisk in the polenta, lower the heat and cook, whisking, until the polenta is thick but spoonable, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the honey, butter, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. If it gets too thick, add water or more milk.

Spoon the polenta into bowls; top with the meatballs and sauce.

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