Skip the usual choice of spaghetti and serve this rich, hearty meatball dish on its own.
2 pounds ground beef, 80 percent lean
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 450°. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined.
Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Roll mixture into golf-ball-size meatballs, packing them firmly (wet hands to prevent meat from sticking; alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop). Place meatballs in baking dish in even rows so they're touching.
Bake until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.