There’s a little pocket of gooeyness inside each of these little critters! This amaze-balls recipe takes porcupines off the endangered dinner time list, and brings them back as a family favourite. And with all the goodness of a tin of tomato soup, what’s not to love about these mealtime mammals?




  • 500g beef mince
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 chopped onion (note: we forgot to add this and they still tasted acceptable)
  • mozzarella, cut into about 8 2cm cubes and pre-frozen if you have time
  • 1 large tin of condensed tomato soup
  • Frozen peas to serve



  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  1. In a bowl, mix together the beef, rice, nutmeg and optional onion. Season lightly.
  1. Using wet hands, form the mixture into balls slightly smaller than a tennis ball.
  1. Poke a cube of frozen cheese into each meatball and seal back up again. If you have people over, do this part in secret. Hide in a cupboard if necessary – it’s worth it.
  1. Arrange the meatballs in an ovenproof dish and cover with the tinned soup. Fill the tin with water and tip that over as well.
  2. Secure a tightly-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes, then remove lid, carefully turn meatballs over and cook uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Serve with the frozen peas, cooked obviously.



Meat, tomato sauce, cheese … that spells Italy, right? Try a chianti classico, Hannibal Lecter’s fave, and pretend you’re in a little bistro somewhere dining by candlelight. Dim light is an extra great idea because this isn’t the most attractive dish you’ll ever cook. We guzzled a $13 Rufino chianti and found it most acceptable. A bit pricey, sure, but you’re paying for that authentic Italian atmosphere.