Polpette alla Napoletana

Ingredients

  • 3 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup pecorino, grated
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted for 2 minutes in a 400 degree F oven
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe below
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and 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
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

In a shallow bowl, soak the bread cubes in enough water to cover. Remove the bread cubes and squeeze by hand to wring excess moisture.

In a large bowl, combine the bread, beef, eggs, garlic, pecorino, parsley, pine nuts, salt and pepper and mix by hand to incorporate bread into meat. With wet hands, form the mixture into 12 to 15 meatballs, each of a size somewhere between a tennis ball and a golf ball. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil until almost smoking. Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

In a clean pan add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add all meatballs, cook for 10 minutes and serve.

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 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer. 

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Polpette alla Cantinella

Recipe courtesy of Basilio Avitabile

Ravioli Napoletana

Recipe courtesy of No Author

Polpette Napoletane

Recipe courtesy of Cecilia Bellelli

Nedda's Ragu Napoletana

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Polpette Di Peppe

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Baccala Meatballs: Polpette di Musillo

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Tuna Meatballs: Polpette di Tonno

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Polpette di Vittorio: Vittorio's Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Cooking Tips 3 Videos

Step-by-step photos

Eggs 101: Poached 01:24

These easy steps will have you poaching eggs to perfection in no time.

Similar Topics:

On TV

Luke Nguyen's France

7:30am | 6:30c

Luke Nguyen's France

8:30am | 7:30c

Luke Nguyen's France

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cupcake Wars

11am | 10c

Cupcake Wars

12pm | 11c

Cupcake Wars

1pm | 12c

Cheap Eats

2pm | 1c

Cheap Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Cheap Eats

5pm | 4c

Cheap Eats

5:30pm | 4:30c

Cheap Eats

6pm | 5c

Cheap Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man Fire Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Great Food Truck Rally

8pm | 7c

Man Fire Food

9:30pm | 8:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Man Fire Food

1am | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30am | 12:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c

So Much Pretty Food Here