Neapolitan Meatballs: Polpette alla Napolitana

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
45 min
20 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 3 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 pounds ground veal
  • 3/4 pounds ground pork
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Please note: do not use this recipe to complete the Neapolitan Lasagne. Use instead the recipe from Molto Mario 2000: Neapolitan Meatballs: Polpette alla Napolitana
  • In a shallow bowl, soak the bread cubes in the milk for a minute or two. Using your hands, break apart the bread into small pieces.

  • In a large bowl, combine the veal, pork, eggs, bread and milk, parsley, and salt and pepper.

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

  • Add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook all the meatballs for 30 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool; save the sauce for spaghetti.

  • In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Add the thyme, 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 pepper.

  • Yield: 4 cups Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes

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