Meatless Meatballs: Polpette di Lupo

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 10 min
Cook: 55 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Kosher salt
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Directions

In a large bowl add the bread slices and milk. Let sit until the bread is soaked through, then squeeze dry. Crumble and tear the soaked bread into smaller pieces and process in the food processor, using quick pulses, to yield 4 cups soaked crumbs.

Mix the crumbs in a bowl with the eggs, cheese, herbs, and garlic, adding salt and pepper, to taste. Form into round balls about 2 inches in diameter. Set aside on a rack or plate to dry for about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil to frying temperature, about 360 degrees F, and fry the bread balls until brown on all sides. Remove the balls as they brown and drain on a rack covered with paper towels.

Have the tomato sauce ready. Arrange the balls on a platter and lightly cover with sauce. Serve immediately.

Basic Tomato Sauce:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Yield: 4 cups

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  • on July 05, 2011

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    Wow! I just made these meatless meatballs for lunch with some homemade pasta, and they were phenomenal! It is so nice to have meatless recipes that are satisfying. I eat meat only once a day--not that I disagree with eating meat at all. I am just trying to be responsible to my environment by lessening my impact on animals dieing for the sake of human consumption. Enough said about that! I don't even miss the meat with these "meatballs." They kinda remind me of seitan "meatballs," but better! Thanks Mario!!

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