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Mezzi Rigatoni with Tiny Lamb Meatballs and Melting Scamorza

A web-exclusive recipe from Italian Cooking and Living

  • 3 slices white bread
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 eggs, beaten to blend
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces Prosciutto, diced
  • 1 pound canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni
  • 8 ounces scamorza, cut into 1/6" cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano

Make the lamb meatballs: Soak the slices of bread in the milk for 5 minutes; squeeze dry. Combine the lamb, eggs, bread, salt, pepper, and parsley in a bowl. Form into small balls. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a skillet, and fry the meatballs until they are golden-brown all over, turning often to cook evenly, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Blot dry on a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold the mezzi rigatoni later. Add the Prosciutto, and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat. Fold in the tomatoes; cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the meatballs; cook for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the mezzi rigatoni and salt, and cook until al dente. Drain. Toss the mezzi rigatoni with the meatball sauce, adjust the seasoning, and spoon into 4 heated bowls. Top each serving with one-quarter of the scamorza, and sprinkle with the Grana Padano. Serve hot. Serves 4

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