• Pork and fennel meatballs (Donna Hay: Fast, Fresh, Simple)Source: Donna Hay: Fast, Fresh, Simple

These pork meatballs get panfried before being quickly oven-baked, speeding things up and ensuring they have a crispy exterior and are juicy on the inside.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (5 votes)


  • 2½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 cup (70 g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
  • 750 g pork mince (ground pork)
  • 100 g piece flat pancetta, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • olive oil, for cooking

To serve

  • crusty bread
  • olive tapenade
  • sliced tomato
  • rocket (arugula) leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the fennel seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle and lightly crush.

2. Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and stand for 5 minutes. Add the mince, pancetta, parsley and fennel-salt mixture and mix well for 2–3 minutes or until the mixture comes together.

3. Shape ⅓ cupfuls of the mixture into balls. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, until well browned on all sides.

4. Place on a baking tray and bake for 5–7 minutes or until cooked through. Serve the meatballs with crusty bread, olive tapenade, sliced tomato and rocket leaves.