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Sydney Chef Darren Robertson’s Lamb Meatballs With Pasta And Ricotta


With families now spending far more time at home, it’s understandable that we be running out of ideas for dinner, and frankly, some nights we just don’t want to cook. Darren Robertson, the renowned Byron-based chef of Three Blue Ducks, has shared his family favourite recipe for lamb meatballs in a quick tomato sauce, served with simple pasta that can be made in under 30 minutes!

Darren Robertson, meatballs

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 25 mins


lamb meatballs
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 brown onions (diced)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 eggplant (diced)
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 100g ricotta
  • 150g pasta (pick your favourite)
  • A hand full fresh basil, parsley or mint Olive oil
  • Hard cheese to finish (optional)


Darren Robertson, meatballs
  1. Mix the lamb mince with half the paprika, chopped herbs and diced onion (the other half of these ingredients is for the sauce). Shape into balls – golf ball size is ideal.
  2. Fry off in a large non-stick pan in a little oil, until lovely and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat, add a touch more olive oil to the same pan and add the diced eggplant, onion, garlic, bay and rosemary.
  4. Cook for 4 – 5 mins, give the occasional stir. Add the honey and tomatoes. Bring to boil, then pop the lamb meat balls back into the pan, cook for another 4 – 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon on the fresh cheese, season with olive oil and fresh herbs. Grate over a little more cheese if you wish.
  6. Serve with pasta, couscous, steamed brown rice or a baked potato.


  • When you fry the meatballs, don’t worry if they are still a bit pink in the middle, they will finish cooking in the sauce and help to give more flavour.
  • If you don’t have fresh rosemary you can use dried rosemary, oregano, thyme or parsley. Same for the paprika, this can be substituted for ground cumin, fennel or coriander.
  • Any sort of hearty vegetable works well with this recipe. Simply replace the eggplant with carrot, pumpkin, celery or beetroot.
  • For the curd cheese, ricotta, mozzarella or bocconcini all work well.

Written by Emeric Brard

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