Sunday Meatballs (Polpette)

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Meatballs are a family staple of Italian Sunday Dinners. Every family has their own way of preparing them and everyone’s Nonna makes them the best! That goes without saying. My family is from the Naples region of Italy, in which they are prepared in two different ways. One recipe includes Pignoli nuts and raisins while the other omits those ingredients. My family’s recipe does not include those ingredients, but I have had them both ways and they are delicious!

When I first posted my family’s method, it got a lot of positive and negative comments. We cooked them in sauce, but separately, and somehow people were appalled at that. Meatballs are serious business for Italians so any variation from what is perceived as traditional can be very upsetting. We are a passionate people! But I ask that you trust the process, because these meatballs are so tender and amazing.

Sunday Meatballs

Italian Sundays are an amazing tradition that I carry on with my family! Meatballs are an integral part of that. This is how my family like to prepare meatballs for the most important meal of the week!


  • 2 lbs 85% Ground Beef or a mix of Beef, Veal and Pork
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Stale Italian Bread, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste


  • Soak the bread in milk while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add meat, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, and cheese to a bowl.
  • Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and pour into the mix.
  • Once the bread is fully soaked in milk, scoop it out squeezing some of the milk out of it but not all! The milk will act as a tenderizer for the meat.
  • Mix everything together and it the consistency seems to dry add the milk from the bowl and if its too wet add some plain breadcrumbs.
  • Using a scoop, form uniform sized meatballs. Fry them in a neutral frying oil of your choice until golden brown.
  • You can finish in the oven for a few minutes if your prefer to eat them without sauce or you can add them to a pot of sauce that is already cooking. I prefer to cook them in a separate pan. I scoop some sauce into a shallow saute pan, add the meatballs, add a 1/4 -1/2 cup of water, more sauce on top of the meatballs and let them steam until cooked through. **Make sure to place the cover on vented.** This will allow them to steam in the sauce and become very tender!
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