June 16, 2009
Bite-size Meatloafs: Polpettine
In the 25 years I have been living in Italy, I have NEVER seen spaghetti and meatballs served anywhere.
In Tuscany we have polpettine, small meatloaves, Polpettone being a meatloaf: the ini ending means small and one- big!
Summer's heat requires light foods and things which taste good at room temperature as well as cold. I love the polpettine as their small size allows for quick cooking and not a lot of time over a hot stove.
Here is the simple recipe using ground beef. There are as many versions as there are cooks, often I make one using left-over boiled beef from bollito misto. You can also "stretch" the recipe by mixing mashed potatoes in with the ground meat.
Polpettine- Beef Croquettes
12 oz ground beef
2 oz grated parmesan
1 egg or more as needed to hold mixture together
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbs chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, mix beef with egg, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
Let sit one hour.
Shape croquettes into a small finger shape.
Roll lightly in breadcrumbs.
Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil and cook slowly over low heat until golden, turning frequently.
Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Eat now or if you can wait.... eat at room temp.