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Polpette – Italian Meatballs

Want a sure fire, guaranteed, no fuss winner of a kids dinner?  

Well, I have one for you…Polpette!  Italian meatballs…and adults are pretty partial to them too!  These delicious morsels are easily adaptable to suit everyone… great finger food for toddlers and leftovers are really yummy on a sandwich for lunch the next day.

The more I learn about food, the more I realise how important it is to keep it simple – especially when it comes to feeding children.  Good quality ingredients and not too many of them usually make for the best dinners.  During the week, we keep it  along the lines of meat and vegetables, saving our pastas and pizzas for the weekends.  My kids go crazy for these polpette – I hope yours do too!

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Makes 24-26 meatballs…heaps for leftovers!

For the meatballs…

About 1 kg of good quality minced meat (I usually use beef or pork or a combination)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (use gluten free if you have a sensitivity)

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (optional)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Olive oil

For the sauce…

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tin of Italian chopped tomatoes

1 bottle of passata

2 bay leaves

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What to do:

This is a great job to get the kids to help with – even though cooking with children is NOT as much fun as everyone makes out it is on Pinterest!

In a large bowl, mix the meat, breadcrumbs, parmesan (if using) parsley and a little salt and pepper.

Mix well using your (clean) hands.  Add the egg and mix again, using your hands and some love until everything is well combined.

Roll the meatballs into round balls (I make mine about golf ball size) and place them on a plate.  Once you have rolled all the balls, pop them in the fridge while you make your sauce.

For the sauce, simply add the onion to a large pot with some olive oil and cook until soft but not brown (sometimes I add a little water to stop the onions frying).

Add your tomatoes, passata, and bay leaves and stir.  Leave to simmer on low heat.

In a large non-stick pan, heat some more olive oil.  Fry your meatballs (you might need to do 2 batches) until browned all over.  Pop them straight into the sauce.

Once all the meatballs are browned and in the sauce, cover with the lid and simmer for around 45 mins to an hour.

Now, the Italians would serve the sauce with pasta first, then serve the polpette with a salad and some crunchy bread to mop up any leftover sauce…I just serve them with veggies or salad and the kids and my husband fight over any leftovers for their sandwiches the next day!  They are delicious in a roll with crunchy lettuce and maybe some grated cheese.

What’s your kids favourite dinner?  Do you have a philosophy when it comes to kids food?

mangiare, mangiare!

mamacino x

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9 thoughts on “Polpette – Italian Meatballs

  1. Perfect Kristin, I may have to put these on the menu at my place this week xx

    1. I hope your kids love them!

  2. These sounds so easy and delish! Reckon I could sneak in a bunch of veges and do them for my kids cooking classes?

  3. So simple and yet, so lush in Mamacino style! And I’m so glad that you pointed out that having kids in the kitchen is not always the best fun ever. I am cool with having one helping minion at the time, but for some reason, my girls insist it’s all or nothing and…I end up losing my cool.

    1. It takes the patience of a saint, lets face it 🙂

  4. Just wondering what you would use as a substitute for egg?

    1. I’d just leave it out Sacha – just roll them tightly and be a bit gentle while cooking them x

  5. […] Polpette… Italian Meatballs by Kristin at Mamacino […]

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