Polpette Alla Casalinga

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

This recipe for meatballs is the best that I have discovered. It came from the cookbook, "The Cooking of Italy". It actually is a Time-Life book, that has amazing information on the history of Italian cooking along with the regional applications. My ex mother in-law, who was born and raised in Italy says it's pretty accurate. She was and still is an amazing cook and baker at the age of 88. I still call her for help on recipes. Whoever tries this recipe, I hope you enjoy these meatballs as much as my family does.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the pieces of bread in 1/2 cup milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze them dry and discard the milk.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix vigorously with both hands or beat with a wooden spoon until all of the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Shape the mixture into small balls about
  4. 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  5. Lay the meatballs out in one layer on a flat tray or baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. Heat 1/4 cup of olive or vegetable oil in a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet until a light haze forms over it.
  7. Fry meatballs 5-6 at a time over moderately high heat, shaking the pan constantly to roll the balls and help keep them round.
  8. In 8-10 minutes the meatballs would be brown outside a d show no trace of pink inside.
  9. Add more olive or vegetable oil as needed.
  10. Serve the meatballs hot in your favorite tomato sauce.


Most Helpful

4 thumbs up or 5***** from my family. We tasted them before and after throwing them in a marinara sauce, YUM. My husband proclaimed them, 'just like Mama Maria's" (our local fave pizza joint). So the good news is, 5****, the bad news is, I may not get to order them from Mama's any longer. Poor me. I followed the recipe to a 't', the only difference is I used spicy. Italian sausage and it rocked! It made 36 "balls of meat". P.S. I baked @400° for 21 minutes instead of frying.

Chicagoland Chef du Jour July 08, 2009

These are 'drop to the floor, crawl to the door' awesome! I made them as written with the exception of baking them at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes. These are now my 'go to' meatballs. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

K9 Owned September 24, 2012

I can't say that I have ever been a "huge" fan of meatballs. I like them but don't love them. These I love! Super easy to put together-they do stay very moist yet hold together well without being in any way tough. Fantastic flavor! For the sausage I used Hot Italian & ended up baking them rather than frying. (just cleaned the kitchen and stove top) 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then I turned off the oven and left them in for another 10 minutes. I got 45 meatballs that will be gobbled up in no time! Thanks for posting, Di ;-)

Dib's May 22, 2012

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