Main Dish

Tuscan Meatballs with Chickpeas Stew

Wilson Winery

1960 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2015
  • RECIPE BY: Donna Parsons @foodmammad/Sous Chef Ginny Bauer
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Tori Zinfandel

In Tuscany, ribollita (Tuscan vegetable stew) is made to showcase the bounty of fresh produce that the November harvest has to offer. We will be serving our locally sourced, farm-to table version of ribollita with local bread from Costeaux French Bakery and wood-fired meatballs inspired by Barrel House Tavern in Sausalito. Come and savor the true spirit of Tuscany with us!


  • 2 thick slices multi-grain bread, crusts removed
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the excess milk; discard the milk. 

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, bread, onion, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, cilantro and salt. Knead with your hands until well mixed (you might want to wear food gloves).

Roll the meat into small balls or use a small ice cream scoop. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

Chickpea Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cans (each 15 ounces) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup Tori Zinfandel
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make the chickpea sauce, in a cast-iron pan, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste and wine and bring to a boil.

Add the chickpeas, parsley, coriander, cumin, paprika, ginger and salt and stir until the ingredients are well combined. Simmer for 15 minutes. 

Add the meatballs and simmer until the sauce has thickened a little, about 10 minutes more.

Wilson Winery

1960 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448