Mint Lamb Meatballs with Spelt Risotto and a Coriander Pesto


For the meatballs

2 small red onions, finely chopped
6 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
500g lean ground lamb
1 egg
3 tablespoons whole wheat breadcrumbs  
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground coriander
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the spelt risotto

185g pearled spelt
approx. 1.5 liters water
120ml + 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
3-4 shallots, finely chopped
150ml dry red wine
470 ml chicken stock
Parmesan cheese, grated

For coriander pesto

60g fresh coriander leaves
80g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground pepper


For the meatballs

  1. Mix mint, onions and breadcrumbs with the ground meat. Spice with salt, pepper, cinnamon and coriander.

  2. With slightly moist hands make approx. 12 meatballs with the meat mix.

  3. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs on all sides for about 10 minutes until browned and cooked from inside. Keep warm.

For the spelt risotto

  1. Soak the pearled spelt in cold water 20 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly.

  2. Bring 1.5 liters water to boil in medium saucepan. Add the olive oil and the rinsed pearled spelt and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse.

  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for a minute.

  4. Add pearled spelt, stir then add the wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently - about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, a ladle at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed and pearled spelt is just tender, stirring frequently – approx. 15 minutes total.

  5. Stir in cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper.

For coriander pesto

  1. Place the coriander leaves, cashew nuts, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor and process until well blended.

  2. With the food processor running, add olive oil a little at a time until the pesto has a smooth consistency. Add the lime juice and season with salt and black pepper.

  3. Spoon into a sterilized jars and keep in the fridge. Once you’ve opened the jar, pour a thin layer of oil over the top of the pesto to keep it fresh.

Serving tip:

Serve with the meatballs and risotto with the pesto spooned over the top. Perfect with this dish are these Italian oven vegetables or this ratatouille.

Food Guide Tips

- Cashew nuts
- Cinnamon
- Coriander
- Ginger