Italian meatballs with peperonata and shaved pecorino

Italian meatballs with peperonata and shaved pecorino

By
From
Meat
Serves
6 as a starter or light meal
Photographer
Dean Cambray

These meatballs – or polpetti as they’re called in Italian – are a great favourite with my family. In fact my nonna has been making them as far back as I can remember. And she nearly always serves them with peperonata. Nonna would never use truffled pecorino, of course. Yes, it’s a bit of a luxury, but it adds a lovely earthy depth to the finished dish. Both the truffled pecorino and porcini powder are available from specialist food stores or delicatessens.

If you omit the cheese from this dish, it becomes virtually fat-free. Serve it with a salad of green leaves and mixed garden herbs, and a drizzle of the peperonata dressing, and you can almost think of it as health food! For a heartier meal, serve with spaghetti and loads of grated parmesan – or truffled pecorino if you can afford it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g lean veal leg meat
300g pork leg meat
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons porcini powder
2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
2 cups chicken stock
olive oil
Peperonata, to serve
100g truffled pecorino

Method

  1. To make the meatballs, cut the veal and pork into cubes and place in a large mixing bowl with the garlic, porcini powder, herbs, seasonings and parmesan. Toss to combine, then mince or process to a not-too-smooth paste.
  2. Wet your hands to stop the mixture sticking and roll into 24 even-sized balls. Heat the chicken stock in a medium saucepan until just simmering. Poach the meatballs in batches for 8 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Transfer to a container and leave to cool. You can make the meatballs to this stage up to 3 days in advance.
  3. When ready to eat, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Fry the polpetti for 6–8 minutes, until warmed through and golden brown all over. Serve with peperonata and shavings of truffled pecorino.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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