Rachel Roddy’s recipe for chicken, ricotta and lemon polpette

<span>Chicken, ricotta and lemon polpette.</span><span>Photograph: Kate Whitaker/The Observer</span>
Chicken, ricotta and lemon polpette.Photograph: Kate Whitaker/The Observer

Chicken and ricotta ensure the polpette are plump and tender, the lemon zest that they are bright and lively.

Serves 4
white bread 40g, crusts cut off (weight without crusts)
milk 60ml
chicken breast 300g, minced
ricotta 150g
unwaxed lemon zest of 1
salt and black pepper
olive oil
white wine or light vegetable stock 200ml
parsley 1 tbsp, chopped

Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the excess milk and crumble the soaked bread into a bowl.

Add the minced chicken, ricotta, lemon zest, salt and pepper to the bowl and, using your hands, mix and squeeze everything together.

Shape the mixture into ping-pong ball-sized polpette, flattening them slightly, and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

In a nonstick frying pan, warm a little olive oil. Add the polpette and brown them on both sides. Add the wine or stock and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, turning the polpette half way, until they are cooked through and there is just a little thick sauce remaining. Sprinkle over some parsley, and serve with rice, greens, mashed potato or a leafy salad.

Rachel Roddy is a Guardian Feast columnist and author of An A-Z of Pasta (Fig Tree, £25)