As promised, here is the third instalment of my pumpkin bonanza. I really enjoyed making (and eating) this autumnal take on pork meatballs. The pumpkin makes your meat go a bit further and because they are baked in the oven, rather than fried, just that little bit healthier. You could also use a lean mince to really up the health credentials. The chèvre cream is one of my favourite things in the world- it works as a dip, a sauce with pasta (see serving suggestion below in step 3) or just as an accompaniment to some grilled meat.
Pork, Pumpkin and Sage Meatballs
You will need:
500g pork mince
1/4 Pumpkin, peeled and grated coarsely
1 red onion, grated coarsely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp finely chopped sage
2 lemons, zest only
75g plain flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
handful of pine nuts
For the chèvre cream
125g soft, rindless goats cheese
100g crème fraiche
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large bowl, combine the pork, pumpkin and red onion. Stir through the sage, garlic and the zest of 1 lemon. Finally, sift over the flour and season generously. Stir this through the mixture, adding a little more flour if it seems very soft- although be aware that this should be quite a wet mixture, to keep the meatballs moist.
2. Roll into meatballs, about 5cm in diameter and place on a lightly oiled oven tray. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, shaking the tray ever so often, until all the meatballs are nicely golden.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the goats cheese, crème fraiche, garlic and honey until smooth-either with a fork to mash up the cheese or in a mini chopper. Serve the meatballs with the chèvre cream, pine nuts and lemon zest perhaps along side some wilted cavolo nero or spinach. Alternatively, stir the chèvre cream through some tagliatelle and top with the meatballs.