I’m going to be one of those annoying people. The people who claimed to be into something before it was cool. Because years ago, before it was a chain, back when Polpo was the hip new restaurant in London that wasn’t taking reservations, Sam and I were some of the first people through the door.
I had the spinach, chickpea and ricotta meatballs and I’ve never looked back since. Over the years we’ve been back, and to be honest, the quality had hugely varied since the early days. The only thing that hasn’t changed is how much I love those darn meatballs. Polpo has also released their own cookbook, however the recipe for my favourites isn’t featured within. With a wing and a prayer, I took it upon myself to try to replicate it at home. So here’s my take on a copy-cat Polpo Spinach & Ricotta Meatballs
- 2 cups of spinach, shredded
- 1 handful of rocket, shredded
- 2 cans of chickpeas
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
- dash of paprika
- salt and pepper
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 180 C. Oil two large baking sheets. Start by making your sauce, in a large pan saute your onions and garlic until translucent. Then add in your tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Let it cook at a simmer for an hour.
- Whilst your sauce is simmering, smash your chickpeas up. Add them to a large bowl, then add in the ricotta, spinach, rocket, parmesan, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix it all together. Then add in 1 cup of breadcrumbs (reserve the other cup) and both eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined. Roll your mixture into tablespoon and a half sized balls. Then roll them in a the reserved breadcrumbs as a drudge before placing them on your oiled baking sheets.
- Once all your spinach and ricotta balls have been rolled, put your trays in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn them over half way through baking. To serve, pour your tomato sauce over top.
- I served mine over some orzo pasta.
They taste pretty gosh-darn similar. The texture is a bit different, but they were close enough to satiate my Polpo meatball craving beast within. Also I may or may not have eaten a few spoons of ricotta whilst I was cooking because it’s so temptingly creamy.
Do you have any favourite dishes at restaurants that you go out of your way to have?