Fresh Fennel and Red Wine Meatballs with Sautéed Kale and Sweet Onions

Author Becky's Mindful Kitchen



  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1/4-1/3 c finely chopped garlic chives (may substitute other chives)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c finely chopped fresh fennel (this was one bulb worth for me)
  • 1/3 c red wine
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 T red pepper flakes
  • 1 T thyme
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • asiago or other hard cheese for serving

Sautéed Kale and onions

  • 1 sweet onion, julienne, plus greens if attached to onion
  • 2 bunches kale, rolled and sliced
  • 1/3 c chopped fennel leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 T thyme
  • 2 tsp red peper
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • Harvest Tuscan or Garlic Olive Oil
  • Juices from cooked meatballs



  • Preheat Oven to 400
    Mix together all of the ingredients in bowl and form into balls.  Bake on a cooking sheet until done, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs.  They can be a light shad of pink but not look raw at all.  Do not overcook the meatballs or they will dry out.  If you end up with meatballs that are too dry to eat alone, simply crumble them and add to a marinara sauce, pizza, or stuffed pasta shells with ricotta and mozzarella cheese. The juices from the meatballs will be used in the vegetables.  

Sautéed Kale

  • In a large pan (I like cast iron), heat olive oil and add onions and cook over medium heat until they become tender and slightly browned.  Add in garlic and fennel and about 1/4 c of juices from meatballs (or stock, butter or more olive oil if you didn't make the meatballs) and let cook for a minute or two before adding the spices and then wine and kale.  Let cook, stirring occasionally until kale has cooked down.  Salt to taste. 
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