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Italian meatballs

Polpette in Umido – Tomato Sauce Meatballs – © www.merenheimo.com

Polpette in Umido – Italian Meatballs in tomato sauce


polpette in umido

Ph by Paolo Marzochella & Lidia Frolova


Italian Meatballs: Polpette or meatballs have known for centuries a clear success even if, over a period of time so great, they have changed several times composition, cooking and presentation.

Absent in Italian fourteenth-century cookbooks, the term “polpetta” was born a century later in Italy, with the cuisine of Mastro Martino of Como.

Indeed, it is yet to prove the hypothesis which the word derives from paupire, because its preparation reminded of the eyelids which close to protect the eyes.

It could instead result from the word “polpa”  meaning “small pulp” as in the origin they were made with lean veal.

Italian Meatballs in tomato sauce

Italian Meatballs in Tomatoes sauce

Italian Meatballs in Tomatoes sauce


450 gr of pork and beef minced meat

2 tablespoons of parsley

2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

2 spoons of parmisan cheese

1 egg

2 slices of bread drenched in milk

1 minced glove of garlic

300 ml of fresh tomato sauce

some white wine


salt and pepper

After you have drenched the bread in the milk, remove it from the milk and reduce it to little pieces. Add it to the meat and mix with your hands. Add the cheese, the parsley, the garlic, the breadcrumbs and finally the egg.

Mix well, make little balls with the mixture. Gently warm some oil on a large flat pan, add the meatballs, gently fry for a couple of minutes on both sides. Add the tomato sauce, the white wine, the salt, the pepper and the oregano.

Cook for about 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of hot mash potatoes.