La Cucina Italiana

Le Polpette

This is one of my favourite dishes and it is so fun to make!

Whenever mia nonna makes le polpette everyone gets so excited! 
Le polpette can be eaten on their own, they can be added to
il sugo di pomodoro (Italian tomato sauce) or you can even eat them with gli spaghetti!

If you don't mind getting your hands dirty,
here's how to do it:

(to serve a family of around four people)

500 g. di carne macinata - 500g. of mince meat
(my nonna uses beef but they can also be made with pork, turkey or any meat you prefer)

5 uova - 5 eggs

Pane grattugiato  Fresh white breadcrumbs

Un bicchiere di latte - Large glass of milk

3 spicchi d'aglio - 3 cloves of garlic

Prezzemolo - Parsley

Noce moscata - Nutmeg or chilli for flavouring, whichever you prefer.
(mia nonna preferisce la noce moscata)

Sale - Salt

Pepe nero - Black pepper

Olio vegetale - Vegetable oil  (for frying)

 La Preparazione

Step 1 - Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and leave to one side.  

Step 2 - Grab a large handful of fresh parsley and finely chop along with the garlic.  If you choose to season with nutmeg, finely grate about half a fresh nut over the mix. 
Alternatively you can add some fresh chilli for flavour!

Step 3 -  Put the chopped parley, garlic and nutmeg into the bowl with the meat.  Sprinkle some salt and black pepper over the top.

Step 4 - This is the messy part!  Using your hands, work the herbs into the meat making sure it's all well mixed in.

Step 5 -  Crack the eggs open, directly into the mixture and continue to mix with your hands!  Continue until you have a smooth, soft texture.
(Un segreto di Melissa - a tip:  Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature because it can make your hands very cold if they come straight from the fridge!)

Step 6 - Add a large handful of fresh breadcrumbs.  Mix them in.  Next, add the milk.   Keep adding small amounts of milk and breadcrumbs until you have a soft, smooth mix that sticks together well.

Step 7 - Depending on how large or small you want your meatballs to be, take some of the mix in the palm of your hand and use the palm of your other hand to roll the meat mixture until it forms a ball. 

Step 8 - Once you have a solid ball shape, put the ball onto a plate of fine breadcrumbs and roll it around until it's fully coated.  Repeat this for the rest of the mixture.

Step 9 - Fill a pan with enough oil to cover just over half the height of the meatballs.  Once it's boiling you can pop the meatballs into the pan.  Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the meatballs. 

Step 10 -  Check if they're properly cooked by taking one out of the pan and open it in half.  If the meat is well-cooked throughout then you can remove them all from the pan.  Place the meatballs on kitchen paper so that the excess oil is drained.

Step 11 - If you wish to add some sugo di pomodoro to your meatballs, simply half fill a roasting-tray with the sauce, throw the meatballs in and mix them ensuring they're well coated by the sauce.  Place them in the oven at about 180 degrees for about half an hour.   This makes a lovely main course or secondo piatto as we say in italiano. 
Equally, the meatballs are excellent for sandwiches!

Step 12Mangia le polpette!  Eat the meatballs! 
In Italy these meatballs are eaten either hot or cold.  They are always
Buon appetito!

Ritorna alla cucina di Melissa.

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