World Cuisine

Spinach and Pecorino Balls with Tomato Sauce

cook 30 mins
  • 250 g (8 oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50 g (2 oz) Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 75 g (3 oz) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 400 g (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) red wine
  • 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • Steam the spinach for 1–2 minutes, until wilted. Squeeze out any excess moisture and roughly chop.
  • Mix the spinach with the egg, garlic, Pecorino, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the shallots for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and red wine and add the basil. Simmer for 8–10 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan until it is 180–190°C (350–375°F), or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds when dropped into the oil.
  • Working in batches, cook the spinach balls for 3–4 minutes, until they are golden. Remover with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Serve with the tomato sauce and a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan.
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