Recipe courtesy of Mangia Mangia Mobile

The Italian Lollipop

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
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2 pounds ground meat mixture (recommended 40-percent beef, 40-percent veal, 20-percent pork)

3/4 cup grated Parmigianino-Reggiano

3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

3 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons ground black pepper


10 eggs

Oil, for frying (extra-virgin is the best, but can use any frying oil)

About 1 gallon marinara sauce

Tempura mix, prepared according to package instructions

Grated Pecorino cheese, for serving


Special equipment:
Twenty four 4 1/2-inch wooden sticks
  1. Evenly mix together the ground meat, cheeses, breadcrumbs, oregano, parsley, pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and eggs in a big bowl using your hands.
  2. Use an ice cream scoop to make twenty four 1-ounce balls out of the mixture. Keep the ice cream scoop wet at all times so the meat does not stick to it. 
  3. Heat the oil up in a frying pan to 375 degrees F and fry the balls until they get a nice crunchy coating, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Heat the marinara sauce in a large pot to a simmer. Drain the balls from the grease and move them to the pot of marinara sauce so they keep cooking for another 40 minutes. 
  5. Put the pot in the fridge to cool off. When the balls are cool, remove from the marinara, but keep the sauce for later use. 
  6. Put each meatball on a wooden stick. Dip the balls in the tempura mix, so they have a thin coating of batter. 
  7. Reheat the oil to 325 degrees F and deep-fry each lollipop until golden and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Dab them with paper towels and season with salt. 
  8. Use the marinara as a dipping sauce with Pecorino cheese, if desired.