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
olive oil
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.


  1. Che belli...ho fame!

  2. Funny that you should say about Meatballs and Spaghetti, it is something I make quite a bit, my family love it. Tomorrow I have to cook for group of friends that meet, and we are having just that!! :-)

  3. I love your observation about the spaghetti and meatballs! Funny. I also love the suggestion to flavor it with lemon. That sounds great.