Zuppa di Polpettini

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 to 14 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

3 (28-ounce) cans peeled pear tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Meatballs, recipe follows

1 (10-ounce) package frozen sweet peas, thawed

1 pound ditalini pasta, cooked al dente

Grated Romano, for garnish

Italian bread, for serving


4 pounds ground beef

2 eggs

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Romano, grated

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy bottomed pot with the garlic. Place over a medium flame and let the garlic brown. Be careful not to let it burn. Put the tomatoes through a blender to liquefy. Add to the browned garlic along with the parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and carefully drop the meatballs into the sauce. Let simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Add the peas and the cooked pasta and serve hot with grated cheese. Serve with Italian bread, if desired.


Yield: 60 meatballs
  1. Put the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, garlic, parsley, salt, cheese and pepper and mix by hand until well combined. Form the mixture into 1 inch balls - a small ice cream scoop works well for this. Place the meatballs close together on a baking sheet as you make them. When finished, drop them into the simmering sauce.