These little nuggets of tender goodness are polpette. Meatballs. To the average Calabrese, they generally contain a good portion of pork and maybe a little beef or veal.

I have to ask the butcher to only pass the pork through the grinder once as opposed to the two times he normally would. Completely mashed pork will a tough meatball make.

To about 500g of ground (not too fine) meat, I add 2 large eggs, a smashed clove of garlic (smeared with salt to make it very fine), finely chopped parsley, a handful of breadcrumbs, fresh grated pecorino romano, a splash of water and season with salt and pepper. This is mixed by hand. Gently but throughly.

I always give the meatballs a quick blanch first. As soon as they rise to the surface of a pot of rapidly boiling water, I remove and let them drain for a minute and then straight into the sauce to finish. The blanching may sound odd, but it gives a meltingly tender meatball. This simple simmering sauce is a favourite over pasta and the meatballs eaten with bread and salad afterward.



Ivonne said…
There is nothing better than a well-made meatball! I bet that sugo was delicious!
Arfi Binsted said…
traditionally, in indonesia, we do our meatballs as you do. we eat them with broth and sprinkled with finely chopped spring onions, fried shallots.
Mary said…
Ciao Ivonne, I have never tried, but am certain I could never eat just one. Isn't the aromatherapy of simmering sauce is highly underrated?

Hi Arfi, interesting. With those accompaniments, it reminds me of a Mindil beach dinner in Darwin where there were lots of Indonesian influences in the food at the markets. Perfect foil for the temperatures!
Gastro1 said…

Nice Blog

I prefer to saute or fry the meatballs also avoid adding any cheese or breadcrumbs to the mix - not good for the figure for sure !

I thin it is necessary for the meatballs to continue to cook with the tomato sauce to ensure maximum flavour interaction .

Mary said…
Ciao Gastro,

Funny I'm reading this now because I've just finished rolling, you guessed it: meatballs!
Not sure why we never fry them but I'm pretty sure the blanching originated from habit years ago and the famiglia has just continued to do it that way.
So a quick blanch, but after that, yes, we do let the meatballs continue to cook and mingle with the sauce for quite awhile. It wouldn't taste the same otherwise!
Thanks for stopping by and for your compliment/comments.

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