I first had fennel sausage at Campanglolo, a fun, rustic Italian restaurant in Vancouver. The sausage was scattered on a delicious pizza with just the right amount of crisp and chew. The pizza was fantastic, but the fennel sausage was the star. I literally wanted to pick off the few pieces of sausage on the pie and stuff them into my mouth to make one satisfying bite.
I refrained from acting like a savage in public, but I couldn’t get the fennel sausage out of my head so I set out to make a pork and fennel meatball that i could really get my teeth into. If you’ve never tried cooking fennel seeds before, you’re in for a treat. Their crunchy, slightly anise flavour is the perfect compliment to pork. Toss these meatballs with your go-to sauce and some pasta for a bowl of comfort.
Fennel Pork Meatball Recipe
yield: 24 meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground pork
2 tablespoon roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs
2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 onion, finely diced
salt and pepper
In a small sauce pan, heat up a splash of olive oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and fennel seeds and cook until the onions are translucent and slightly brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the onions and fennel seeds from the pan, set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, parsley, panko, egg, salt, pepper, and the cooled onions and fennel seeds. Mix well and shape into 1-inch size meatballs (about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons). Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmery. Add the meatballs to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning as needed, about 4-5 minutes per side, 20 minutes total. Check for doneness by cutting one open and ensuring there is no pink. Enjoy as an appetizer hot, or serve with your favourite sauce and pasta.