Preserved Lemon Pork Meatball Pappardelle

  • Author: Stacey Bender
  • Yield: 4 servings (approximately 18-20 meat balls 1x




1 lb Ground Pork

1 cup (homemade) Olive Bread Crumbs (recipe to follow)

Juice of 1 Lemon plus it’s zest

1/4 of a Preserved Lemon, chopped

3 Cloves Garlic, chopped

2 TB Dijon Mustard

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Fresh, Ground Pepper to taste

1/2 bunch Italian Parsley, chopped

Peanut Oil for cooking the meatballs


1 TB Olive Oil

1 Shallot, chopped (approximately 2 TB)

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

1/4 cup White Vermouth

1/2 cup Chicken Stock

2 TB Lemon Juice

12 TB Butter

1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 lb Pappardelle Pasta

GARNISH (option 1)

2 cups Baby Spinach

1 TB Olive Oil

1 clove Garlic, chopped

1 tsp course Sea Salt

many grinds of fresh Peppercorns

2 wedges of Lemon

GARNISH (option 2)

1 cup Kale

12 TB Olive Oil

1/2 tsp course Sea Salt

many grinds of fresh Peppercorns

1 clove Garlic, chopped

1 TB grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a handful of flour in the bottom of a baking pan.
  3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients through Italian Parsley.
  4. Using your hands, mix to combine.
  5. Form into small, bite-sized balls and place on the prepared baking pan.
  6. Shake the meatballs to get lightly coated in flour.
  7. Cover the bottom of a fry pan with peanut oil and brown each side of the meatballs, transferring them to a paper towel-lined plate as they finish.
  8. Cook and drain the pasta (I save a little of the pasta water in case it is needed for the sauce).
  9. Remove the paper towel from the meatballs and place pan in oven while you prepare the sauce.
  10. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the shallots and garlic.
  11. When the shallots and garlic are softening, add the lemon juice and stir. Add the vermouth, then the stock.
  12. Simmer a few minutes to reduce the liquid slightly (you might have a little more than 1/2 cup).
  13. Stir in the butter; it should slightly thicken.
  14. Add the cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Add the cheese and toss together using metal tongs. Once the pasta is heated through, season as needed; you might add a little more liquid, or not.
  15. Top with meatballs and your choice of garnish (see garnish instructions below).
  16. I always add an additional grating of Parmesan over top.

GARNISH (option 1)

  1. Just as you are about to add the pasta to your sauce, put the salt and pepper in a dry sauté pan and heat for 1 minute on low.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil and garlic, stir and let cook 30 seconds before adding the spinach.
  3. Toss the spinach to coat using metal tongs and cook just until wilted. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the spinach to the heated pasta before topping with the meatballs.

GARNISH (Option 2)

  1. You can do this before you have started cooking the meatballs if you like.
  2. Wash and dry the kale.
  3. Remove the hard stem and discard.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the kale.
  5. Tear the kale into pieces adding them to the bowl as you go.
  6. Using your fingers, gently massage the kale with the mixture to rub all the flavors in and soften the kale.
  7. Let sit until you are ready to garnish.
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