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Classic Italian Polpette (Meatballs)

Classic Italian Polpette (Meatballs)


2 thick slices rustic ciabatta bread
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (100 g) panko breadcrumbs
4 tbsp (22 g) grated Parmesan cheese 
1 tsp minced garlic 
2 tsp (10 ml) good-quality white wine 
1 tbsp (3 g) fresh parsley, finely minced 
1 tsp lemon zest 
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 
10 1⁄2 oz (300 g) ground beef 
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 
3 tbsp (23 g) all-purpose flour
4 tbsp (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 


Reprinted with permission from 20-Minute Italian by Andrea Soranidis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Andrea Soranidis
Author Andrea Soranidis Instagram: @thepetitecook Publisher: @pagestreetpublishing  

Cut the bread into small cubes, and place them in a bowl with the milk. Allow the bread to sit for a few minutes, then drain it and squeeze out the excess milk with your hands, and place the bread in a large bowl. Add in the egg, panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, white wine, parsley, lemon zest and thyme. Combine all the ingredients. Add the ground beef, and season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Mix gently, but thoroughly, with your hands to combine all the ingredients.
Take a small piece of the meat mixture and gently roll it between your hands to form 1-inch (2 1⁄2-cm) meatballs (about 1 full tablespoon [15 g] each). 

Place the flour in a shallow dish. Roll the meatball gently into the flour until lightly covered, arrange it on a baking tray and flatten it lightly with the palm of your hand. Repeat the process until all the meat mixture is used. 

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fold in the meatballs and leave them undisturbed until they are brown on one side. Shake the pan to loosen the meatballs, then turn each one with tongs to cook on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Remove the meatballs from the heat, and arrange them on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Transfer the meatballs to a large serving plate. 

Tip: Use leftover meatballs to make an awesome pasta with meatball and tomato sauce the next day!