Pesto pork meatballs with peas drowned in cream is an approachable weeknight dinner that is easily created.
And it’s big on flavor thanks to large amounts of fresh parsley and pistachio pesto.
I’ve been playing around with sheet pan meatball dinners a lot this spring and something I’ve discovered is that fresh pesto is an amazing way to get lots of juicy flavors from both the meatballs and the veggies they bake with. When it’s pulled out of the oven the excitements just beginning. The next step is to pour a generous splash of cream right over the top of everything. It mingles with peas and pesto and scallions and olive oil on the hot pan to make a sauce so swimmingly good you’ll want to drown in it. For a weekday evening, I tend to serve this meal just as it is. But on the weekends or whenever the extra carb mood strikes, a good loaf of crusty bread is nice for scooping up all that creamy sauce.
Pesto Pork Meatballs With Peas Drowned In Cream
Flavor profile: herby, sweet onion, charred
to make the pesto
- 2 oz parsley, fresh, leaves only
- 2 oz pistachios, raw, shelled
- 3.75 olive oil
- .25 flaky salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 oz parmesan, finely shredded
- Add the pistachios, garlic, salt, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
- Working in two or three batches (depending on the size of your food processor) add the parsley and pulse until the mixture is smooth but the parsley should still have some texture to it.
- Add the parmesan and pulse again until the mixture is a nice consistency that is somewhere in between chunky and smooth sauce.
- Store leftover pesto covered in the fridge for up to one week.
for the meatballs
- 16 oz ground pork
- 1 large egg
- 2.5 oz panko style bread crumbs (1 cup)
- 2 oz heavy cream (1/4 cup)
- 2 oz parsley pistachio pesto ( 1/4 heaping cup)
for the peas
- 12 0z fresh peas (2 cups)
- 6 oz scallions (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 oz parsley pistachio pesto (1/8 cup)
- .5 oz olive oil ( about 1 Tbsp.)
- a pinch of flaky salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- heavy cream, extra, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425f.
- In a large mixing bowl add the bread crumbs, pesto, and cream. Mix well.
- Add the ground pork and the egg. Mix until everything is combined. Cover the meat mixture and set it aside while preparing the vegetables.
- Trim the peas by snapping off a small portion of one end and peeling away the tough fibers that run along the length of the pod. Slice the scallions into 2″ pieces. Line a large jelly roll baking tray ( 17″ x 11″) with parchment, add the peas, scallions, pesto, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Give it all a good toss to coat the veggies.
- Splash a bit of olive oil on your palms and roll the meat mixture into 32 one-inch balls. Place them around the veggies all over the tray.
- Bake the whole thing for about 20-25 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each meatball registers 160 f.
- Remove the tray from the oven and liberally splash on enough cream to create a sauce. Serve immediately.
Looking for more really good simple dinners? Check out this Italian pesto and genoa salami muffuletta.