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Rosmarin in Culo: Meatballs in Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup

Beth Dunham
Inspired by the famous Tuscan butcher, Dario Cecchini, these meatballs are freshly ground and served medium-rare, skewered with rosemary.
Course Main, Secondi, Side
Cuisine Italian


Sun-dried tomato ketchup

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato halves
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of chili flakes


  • I kilogram of meat The ratios for these juicy, flavourful meatballs was 10% guanciale, 20% sirloin, 70% chuck. I cut the meat into cubes no bigger than an inch before grinding
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Sun-dried tomato ketchup

  • Soak sundried tomatoes in boiling water for 30 minutes, until soft. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook for another minute or two. In a blender, or food processor combine sundried tomatoes and their soaking liquid with all of the other ingredients and purée the mixture until smooth.
  • Transfer the purée to a small saucepan, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small jar, and let cool completely before refrigerating.
  • Leftover ketchup will keep for up to a week in the fridge.


  • See instruction link above recipe for grinding.
  • The most important thing to remember when grinding your own meat is to have everything very cold. I chilled the processor bowl and blade as well the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes before I started grinding.
  • Once ground, roll the ground meat mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
  • Cook in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, shaking the pan to keep the balls rolling and evenly brown on all sides. It should take 7-9 minutes for about a medium depending on the size of your balls. Skewer each ball on a sprig of fresh rosemary and serve with homemade sundried tomato ketchup.