Neapolitan Meatballs: Polpette alla Napoletana
- 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 14 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
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 per batch. Serve warm or at room temperature, note that Italians would rarely serve meatballs with pasta.
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