Wednesday, June 19 2024

Before anyone comments, correcting the name of the recipe…in Italy meatballs with or without meat are called “POLPETTE.”

This classic Italian dish is a delicious blend of rustic simplicity and rich, authentic flavors.

Polpette di Pane offers a unique way to transform stale bread into a mouthwatering, budget-friendly meal that’s both satisfying and eco-conscious.

These golden brown dumplings are a perfect example of the Italian talent for creating culinary magic from simple ingredients.

Whether you’re a passionate cook or someone looking for a creative way to use up leftover bread, this recipe is sure to win your heart and taste buds.

So, roll up your sleeves and embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Italy with our Polpette di Pane recipe.





For the Polpette:

  • 4 cups stale Italian bread (ciabatta or baguette), torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


1. Prepare the Bread Mixture:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the torn bread pieces and milk. Allow the bread to soak for about 10 minutes until it becomes soft.

2. Make the Polpette Dough:

  • Once the bread is softened, squeeze out the excess milk and place the moist bread in a clean mixing bowl.
  • Add the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Mix the ingredients until well combined. The mixture should be sticky but manageable. If it’s too wet, you can add a little more grated cheese or breadcrumbs to adjust the consistency.

3. Form the Polpette:

  • With damp hands, shape the bread mixture into small, round dumplings, about the size of golf balls.

4. Heat the Oil:

  • In a large, deep skillet, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat.

5. Fry the Polpette:

  • Carefully place the dumplings in the hot oil and fry until they turn golden brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Once done, transfer the polpette to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

6. Prepare the Tomato Sauce:

  • In a separate saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until they turn translucent.

7. Add the Tomato Sauce:

  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it thickens and the flavors meld together.

8. Serve:

  • Serve the crispy Polpette di Pane over a generous ladle of tomato sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

These Italian Polpette di Pane are a fantastic way to savor the essence of Italy in every bite. Serve them as a delightful appetizer, a satisfying main course, or even as a party snack to impress your guests. Buon appetito!

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