Polpette al sugo (meatballs)

Meatballs are another dish that is very present in my childhood memories.

As a child, I didn’t like meat very much and to make me eat it my mother offered it to me in a thousand ways and one of these was the meatballs. This recipe never fails on the table of Italians, you can find infinite versions and every mother has her own recipe.

My grandmother told me, while she was making meatballs, that when she was a little girl there was poverty ‘and meat was a luxury for a few. When meat rarely happened at home there was a problem: there were many mouths to feed and meat was not enough for everyone so it was mixed with bread, eggs, cheese and here there was something to eat for everyone . Obviously the quantity of bread was greater than the meat but it didn’t matter because they were too good and hunger was great.

INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE

500 gr of ground beef

250 gr of stale bread

4 egg yolks

150 gr of Parmesan cheese

50 gr of pecorino cheese

Salt and pepper

Parsley

Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

Basil

3 cans of san marzano peeled tomatoes

Peanut oil

Prepare the tomato sauce by placing the extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a large pot (because you will have to add the meatballs). When it starts to sizzle, add the tomato that you previously mashed. Add salt and basil and cook over moderate heat.

Now let’s prepare the meatballs: cut the bread into coarse pieces and leave it for a few minutes to soak in water (now it must be said that if you use a bread with a slightly hard crust it is okay to leave it for a few minutes but if you use bread in the box a few seconds will be more than enough). Squeeze it and put it in a bowl with the meat, egg yolks, cheeses, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Knead with your hands until all the ingredients are well mixed together. Shape into meatballs and fry them in plenty of peanut oil (if you prefer, you can arrange the meatballs in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook them in the oven for 20 minutes). As they are ready, place them on a plate with absorbent paper.

When all the meatballs are ready, dip them in the tomato sauce halfway through cooking and cook for another 30 minutes, covered and over medium heat. Serve hot as soon as they have been removed from the pan with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and a nice slice of toasted bread.

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