Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 16, 2017

© Frank Wieder

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Meatballs in tomato sauce (Polpette alla Napoletana)

This version of polpette (meatballs) is from Campania’s convent tradition

1 lb. 2 oz. (560 g) stale crustless bread such as ciabatta or pane casereccio a little milk

1 lb. 2 oz. (560 g) lean ground beef

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1¾ oz. (50 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about ½ c./125 ml)

1½ oz. (45 g) golden raisins (optional) (about ¼ c./60 ml)

1½ oz. (45g) pine nuts (optional) (about ⅓ c./90 ml)

light olive oil for cooking

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 lb. 5 oz. (650g) canned whole peeled plum tomatoes

salt and freshly ground pepper

Soak the bread in a little milk. Squeeze gently to remove any excess liquid and place in a bowl with the ground beef, parsley and garlic. Mix well and add the egg, a pinch of salt, black pepper, Parmesan, golden raisins and pine nuts (if using). Combine thoroughly with your hands.

Shape into meatballs and fry in plenty of hot oil in a large pan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Keep turning carefully to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Sweat the onion in a little olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper.

Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and cook for 10 minutes to heat through.

Serves 4.

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