Dominica's Mini Summer Meatballs

Mercury Geyserville

21015 Geyserville Ave
Geyserville, CA 95441

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2018
  • RECIPE BY: Chef - Dominica Catelli / Photo - Sarah Deragon
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: 2013 Freddie Cuvée

Created by our neighbor and award-winning chef Dominica Catelli, these wonderfully flavorful meatballs will melt in your mouth and have you reaching for your wine glass to savor again and again! Serve with Dominica's simple tomato-garlic sauce. In place of the canned tomatoes in the sauce, you can use fresh ones.

Dominica's Simple Tomato-Garlic Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
To prepare the tomato-garlic sauce, in a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Do not let the garlic brown, which will cause it to develop a bitter taste.) Stir in the tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
To prepare the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°F. 

In a large bowl, combine the egg, ground beef, sausage, ricotta, panko, onion, the 1/2 cup Parmesan, garlic, thyme, parsley and salt and mix with your hands. Form the meat mixture into forty 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

In an extra-large cast-iron skillet, warm some olive oil. Working in 2 batches, add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Return all the meatballs to the skillet, transfer to the oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball registers 160°F, about 10 minutes.

Spoon the tomato-garlic sauce into 2 small cast-iron skillets or serving dishes (cast-iron skillets can be heated or kept warm on a grill). Place the baked meatballs in the sauce, turning to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and the 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve the meatballs with bamboo skewers.

Mercury Geyserville

21015 Geyserville Ave
Geyserville, CA 95441