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Polpetta Fritta -- Fried Meatballs

0:30 prep
0:30 total


prep 0:30       total 0:30




1/2 lb. ground round, lean
1/2 lb. ground pork, lean
1 md. onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 to 3 slices wet bread, crusts removed
3 tbsp. parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 to 3 lg. eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano


Place both the beef and the pork into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients except the eggs; mix well. The moist bread is made by soaking 2-3 slices of wet bread, crusts removed, in water. When soaked, squeeze as much water out as you can, then shred and add to the meatball mixture. Add eggs and mix. Check for moistness. If too moist, add some more breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. If to dry, add another egg and mix well again. When all is mixed, form the meat into meatballs about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Set the formed meatballs on waxed paper.

Heat olive oil in a pan to a depth of about 1½ inches. (Remember to leave at least a few inches, in the pot, above the surface of the oil for expansion!) Place meatballs in pan one at a time and brown only lightly (do not cook completely - the meatballs will become hard).

Once browned, removed with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper toweling. When all are fried, transfer to a simmering pot of tomato sauce and cook to completion. Serve as a side with any pasta dish as sandwiches.

Author's Comments

When you think of spaghetti and meatballs, this is the meatball that is used. The key to the softness of the meatball is in the wet bread and more importantly, the light browning and completion as poached in the tomato sauce. I had an aunt who would only make her meatballs gigantic . . . 4-6 inches. Then at the table she would slice them and serve her guest slices of the meatball . . . Tasty . . . But not the same!<br />
<br />
From my cookbook: The &quot;Old Country&quot; Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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2 Recipe Reviews


Good! I'll add some fresh cracked pepper and crushed red pepper flakes the next time I make these, but as they were, they were a hit!


My husband really liked them. I made mine with deer meat (which isn't my favorite) but I'm sure it's better with the meats in the ingredients.