Saturday, February 4, 2012

Polpettone alla Toscano (Tuscan Meatballs)

This is a recipe I made from the following web site:

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko)
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1 pound ground beef
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped fine
[I used bacon]
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly chopped [flat leaf] Italian parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup white flour

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoon grated carrot
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups tomato sauce

Parmesan cheese for garnish

Soak the breadcrumbs in milk for five minutes. Strains and squeeze to remove excess milk, then loosen crumbed and spread over a plate.

In a large bowl, mix together with the beef, prosciutto, egg, salt, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix well with your hands.

Moisten your hands with a little water and form the meat into 8 meatballs of the same size. Be sure to pack them well and not leave any openings, otherwise the meatballs will fall apart while cooking.

Place the flour into a small bowl and roll the meatballs lightly in the flour until evenly coated.

In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Gently brown meatballs all over, allowing a nice, savory crust to form. Turn the heat to low.

To the pan add the carrot and onion. Cook gently just until the vegetables start to brown, then pour in white wine and tomato sauce. Allow to cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, nudging occasionally with a spatula to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Gently turn meatballs over, cover the pan, and finish cooking until they are cooked through, about 7 more minutes, again nudging to prevent sticking. If you like, you can remove the meatballs from the pan and continue cooking the sauce, uncovered, until it thickens.

Allow meatballs to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve meatballs hot, covered with tomato sauce and garnished with parmesan cheese. Also, feel free to serve these bad boys on a sandwich with a little provolone, which is most definitely Italian!

I followed this recipe in the making of the meatballs. However, I always bake mine in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes (about 1.5 ounces each) in order to cook out some of the fat.

I prepared the sauce in a large/deep skillet and added the meatballs. Covered and cooked on low for one hour.

I really liked the flavor that the bacon added to the meatballs. I usually make mine with beef and hot Italian sausage.

No photos for this recipe! I thought I saved them but must have cleaned up my memory card. The photo above is of a similar meatball recipe.