Mortadella Meatballs & Pistachio Pesto

How to make Mortadella Meatballs and Pistachio Pesto.

INGREDIENTS: Makes 16-18 Meatballs

For The Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb mortadella, diced small
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For The Sauce:

  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Arugula for serving, optional
  • Chopped pistachios for serving, optional


For the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cheese, breadcrumbs, milk, oregano, lemon zest, salt and egg in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the pork and mortadella and gently fold the mixture until fully and evenly combined.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil on a small, rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Scoop the mixture into 16-18 golf-ball sized balls and roll until smooth.
  6. Place on the baking sheet.
  7. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

For the sauce:

  1. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add the basil, parsley and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. And the olive oil and ½ – 1 cup cold water and puree until the pesto is a smooth, creamy texture.
  4. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.
  5. Divide the arugula amongst serving plates and top with the meatballs.
  6. Spoon the pesto over the meatballs.
  7. Serve with chopped pistachios if desired.
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