Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Polpette, or meatballs, are vastly underrated. My first experience of these savoury spheres was from a Campbell's tin. Yum! And I'm sure alot of people who have had hunger pangs whilst traipsing round the famous Scandinavian furniture stores, have eaten a plate of their Swedish meatballs. Italian Americans in New York tend to eat theirs as " spageddi n meatbawls".  They are cheap to make and the sauce you cook them in can be tossed with some pasta as a first course. This recipe will serve six if you serve pasta first.

Mix 500g each of minced beef and pork along with 100g bread crumbs, 2 eggs, handful of freshly grated parmesan, chopped parsley or sage and a good dose of salt and pepper. Make sure the mix is well combined before shaping into balls as large or small as you desire. Roll the balls in some semolina and transfer to a tray dusted with more semolina and place in the fridge to firm up while you make your sauce.
To make the sauce, fry a large red onion in a good glug of olive oil until soft in a casserole style pan. Then add one clove of garlic crushed or finely chopped. Add two tins of plum tomatoes whizzed up till smooth or some passata and bring to a steady simmer. The next thing to do is to fry your polpetti to get a nice crust before adding to your sauce. You will probably have to this in batches as overloading the pan will stop a crust from developing. When all the polpetti have been added to the sauce, turn the heat down to a low bubble and leave to slowly cook for a couple of hours covered with a lid. Before serving test the sauce for seasoning, I sometimes add a swig of red wine vinegar to sharpen the flavours. Dish up a few balls with a slick of the meaty sauce. A dusting of parmesan is optional, I don't bother!

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