Italian Meatballs (Polpette)

Out of all cuisines, apart from Chinese, I have to admit that I have most extensive knowledge of Italian over all other cuisines. Most Italian dishes are quite simple these days because it is one of the most produced foods by frozen food and packaged food companies. You can buy ready made instant pasta from the supermarket, as well as bottled pasta sauce, dried Italian herb mixes, canned minestrone, frozen lasagna and pizza bases. Its all most convenient these days since our lives are becoming more busy and filled.

With this in mind, I decided to make some meatballs from scratch. No one really knows where they orginated from or how it came it be as mince meat, an essential ingredient, wasn’t possible until the invention of the mincer!  Although meatballs are found all over the world, the Italian meatball is definitely the most famous of them all. Polpette, as they are known in Italy, are served as a main dish. Traditionally, they were eaten alone. The famous “Spagetti and Meatballs” dish was an American invention as the Americans liked to have meat in their meals (typical!).

The recipe for meatballs below can be eaten alone or served with pasta – It really doesn’t matter because they taste fanstastic anyway!

Italian Meatballs (Polpette)


  • 500g pork mince
  • 100g chicken mince
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of basil, finely chopped
  • Olive oil

Ready, Set…COOK!

  1. In a bowl, mix together the chicken and pork mince, the garlic, red onion and all the herbs. Make sure to mix them well, especially the minces. You don’t want to have meatballs where they are just pork or just chicken. Season with salt and pepper, then mix thoroughly again.
  2. Use your CLEAN hands to take a small amount of the mince mixture into your hand and roll into balls. Adjust the size by adding more or taking out some of the mixture from the ball and rerolling it. They shouldn’t be any bigger than a golf ball or you’ll have a hard time eating and cooking them!
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and put the meatballs in gently. Panfry them for 10min or until they are cooked through. Make sure they are cooked through because eating raw pork and chicken can be dangerous to your health :(! If you want to to make sure they are cooked through, add a splash of water over the meatballs, cover and let it simmer until the water evaporates.
  4. Serve over pasta and top with pasta sauce. Or, as I have done above in the photo, serve with ratatouille (You’ll fine my ratatouille recipe here
  5. Eat!

Buon Appetito!

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