Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Polpettine - Tuscan Meatballs



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is another simple entree for 2 or 3 people. The recipe can, of course, be doubled or tripled if necessary. The meatballs are easy to make but for a robust flavor that speaks of Tuscany, they should be refrigerated for at least an hour before they are sauteed. The food of Tuscany is really quite simple and it relies heavily on the olive oil of the region, a unique salt-free bread called pane Toscano and white beans that are cooked in a clay pot that's called a fiasco. I've had fiascoes in my kitchen but they weren't clay pots. Tradition plays an important role in all aspects of Tuscan life and extends to food that they eat. The Tuscans are a frugal lot. Nancy Jenkins, the author of Flavors of Tuscany, calls them "the Yankees of Italy" because they are as plainspoken, forthright and as penny pinching as any New Englander she has met. Polpettine were originally made from leftover meat that was finely chopped and mixed with stale bread to extend them to feed all who assembled at the family table. The lemon sauce that's served with them, while scant, is lovely. Here's the recipe to feed those who assemble at your table.

Polpettine - Tuscan Meatballs...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:

3/4 pound 85% lean ground beef
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Flour (about 1/4 cup)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
Salt and pepper

Directions:
1) Mix beef with cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2) Shape into meatballs. Lightly roll in flour.
3) Cook slowly, turning often, until golden brown.
4) Raise heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Yield 18 to 24 meatballs.

Cook's note: While this can be served with pasta, that is not a traditional accompaniment in Tuscany. I serve this with white beans and rosemary or roasted new potatoes. I also like to serve a great bread with this to mop up the lemon sauce.

Recipe adapted from My Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts Francini

29 comments:

CHRISTMAS IS ON IT's WAY !! said...

Your meatball photo is mouth watering!!! They look absolutely delicious!!! I am a meatball FAN!!!

Federica said...

mmm..che buone!! aspettami per pranzo!!

My Little Space said...

Such a delicious meatball with just a simple recipe! Yum...mm..

Debinhawaii said...

I love meatballs and that lemony sauce sounds so delicious too!

Joan said...

Mary, I can't wait to try these. I love the cooking information that you give with your recipes. It is good to know how you can serve these meatballs without pasta! Thanks for contributing and have a wonderful day!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Fiasco - that is hilarious!
They look very tasty indeed. I love your world-wide range.

George Gaston said...

Mary, these look marvelous! Thanks

bj said...

Good morning, dear heart.
It is 8:30 here, i haven't had breakfast yet and now....I want meatballs for my morning meal! :)
This sounds just delightful. Italian parsley? Never have I heard of it. Will just regular parsley work? I'm pretty sure we don't have the fresh Italian parsley in our stores here.
I would love to try this recipe soon....and will !!
Hope your day is starting off on a great note!!
xo bj

Michele said...

Those meatballs look great. This is pretty much how I make mine. I don't use lemon though. I wonder what makes them tuscan. Is it the lemon?

Katherine Aucoin said...

I like that something so wonderful could come from a "fiasco". Keeping it simple works me, they look fantastic Mary!

Pam said...

They look so tasty - love the sauce.

A Year on the Grill said...

I love the look of these, great photo and the recipe sounds very simple to replicate... gonna save this one

Superbowl Sunday is a great time for meatballs

The Blonde Duck said...

You know that I'm all about meatballs all the time.

And don't worry about the ladybug. Her confession will make you giggle. It's cute, not cruel.

Fairy Footprints said...

Oh the meatballs looks great. YUMMY.


Hope the week is starting off well.

Take care.


Blessings,
Heidi

Mary said...

bj, it may be called flat parsley in your area. However, you can use curly parsley if that all you have.

Lea Ann said...

Love this recipe. Saving it in my database to make soon. I just made a lemon meatloaf recipe that I'm getting ready to post soon. Somewhat similar.

Jennifer said...

These meatballs sound totally delicious. I'm making them tomorrow night 100%.

Katy ~ said...

LOL about New England Yankees. Yep, sounds pretty much like everyone I know 'cept for flatlanders LOL.

Your meatballs just want to jump off the screen and into my mouth!

My word verification is "follymen". Kind of makes me wonder who they're referring to, grins.

Karly said...

Sounds delicious! I'm a big meatball fan, so I'll definitely try these!

Foley said...

Sure wish you lived next door - I would be dropping by on a regular basis!!!
Looks so good... I like the recipes for 2-3 people!

the ungourmet said...

Hi Mary! I was this close to making meatballs for dinner tonight! These look outstanding!

Nicole Feliciano said...

This looks so awesome. Could you triple the batch and freeze some. Would help me for quick mid-week meals. Love the idea of serving with beans. Bravo!

noble pig said...

Who doesn't love a good meatball!

Mary said...

Nicole, freezing a portion of the batch isn't a problem, but if you are freezing them before cooking make sure you use fresh not frozen ground beef.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Stunning. Absolutely mouth watering to gawk at. I like the idea of breaking away from pasta with this.
I don't make meatballs often, but this is definitely a version worth trying. Thank you.

free online adventure games said...

I like how simple this recipe is, and that you always keep in mind the small family meal. The lemon sauce is certainly an interesting deviation from the usual meatball sauces we normally see. Gotta try this someday!

Jamie said...

Believe it or not I've had meatballs on my mind. Yours look so moist, flavorful and delicious! Perfect meal, I say! And I miss salt-free Tuscan bread.

Claire said...

These are reallt good, and so easy. Perfect for a work night dinnere as I made the meatballs the day before and refrigerated them. Love the lemon juice! Thank-you!

Von said...

These meatballs look so good! I've never made meatballs before....

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