Polpette della nonna con sugo di pomodoro

Authentic Italian polpette recipe from Nonna’s cookbook

This recipe is a classic and simple recipe for making meatballs.  You can make them with tomato sauce or brown them with EVOO.

Tip: This recipe can also be used to make meatloaf!

Skill: Super EASY!


Serves 8


For Polpette

  • 600 g lean ground beef
  • 400 g ground pork
  • 250 g tuscan bread with crust removed
  •  milk for soaking
  • 120 g grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1 fine chopped garlic clove
  • 2 eggs
  • chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce


Make sure you use a basic passata tomato sauce or tomato pulp without spices.

1. Prepare Sauce. Chop Onions. Not too little not too big.

2. In a dutch oven or large saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of EVOO and sautee onions for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to brown them.

3. Add passata and season with salt and pepper.

4. slowly simmer partly covered for 40 minutes.

5. Prepare Polpette. Rip up the heart of the bread, add milk to moisten. Add to bowl with meat, garlic, eggs, and grated cheese. season to taste. I prefer salt and pepper.

6. Roll polpette in fine bread crumbs. You can do round or oval. Depends on how your nonna does them. There are no rules!!

7. In a skillet, heat olive oil and brown meatballs.

8. Once meatballs are browned, add to sauce and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.

That’s it! Easy peasy!