The polpete are the delicious meatballs of the Italian cuisine, softer than the classic meatballs because they contain breadcrumbs moistened with milk.
3,331 1 5
Grade this recipe:

Last modified on: April 8th 2023

Keywords for this recipe:
For 25 pieces, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 25 pieces 50 pieces 75 pieces
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
30 min.1 hour21 min.1 hour 51 min.
At what time:
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at ... ?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at ... ?
  • Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #1

Making the meat balls

Remove the crust from 3 slices bread (use it in another recipe), put the crumb only in a bowl and sprinkle it with 1 glass milk.

Let it soak in.

Stage 2 - 5 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #2
In the meantime, in a salad bowl, pour 300 g minced beef, ½ onion finely chopped and parsley also chopped.

Salt and pepper.

Stage 3 - 5 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #3
Add the milk-soaked bread, squeezed between your hands, grated 50 g Parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan) and 2 eggs.

Stage 4 - 3 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #4
Mix thoroughly.

You can do it with a mixer, or simply by hand...

Stage 5
Polpete : Photo of step #5
...until you get...

Stage 6 - 1 hour
Polpete : Photo of step #6
...a homogeneous mixture.

Let rest 1 hour in the refrigerator if possible.

Stage 7 - 10 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #7
Shape them into balls and place them on a baking sheet, possibly protected by a sheet of baking paper.

If you don't use them right away, you can freeze them at this stage: put the baking sheet in the freezer, and when the balls are frozen, transfer them to a closed plastic freezer bag.

Stage 8 - 5 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #8


In a large frying pan over medium heat, pour in 4 tablespoons olive oil and when it is hot add the dumplings, just brown them on each "face".

Put on hold in a plate

Stage 9 - 1 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #9
In the same pan, add a little olive oil, then chopped 1 shallot, 2 bayleaves, 1 sprig thyme, 1 garlic clove, salt and pepper.

Cook for 1 minute, without browning.

Stage 10 - 10 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #10
Pour in 300 g peeled and chopped tomatoes, add more salt and pepper, and let thicken gently for about 10 minutes.

Stage 11 - 5 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #11
Add the previously set aside meatballs, sprinkle with tomatoes and let them warm up slowly.

Stage 12 - 2 min.
Polpete : Photo of step #12
Just before serving, remove and discard thyme, garlic clove and bay leaves.

Check seasoning.

Stage 13
Polpete : Photo of step #13
Serve the polpete with the side dish of your choice, in this case white rice, and a generous helping of tomato puree.
In principle, popete is beef, but you can also put several meats together: beef + pork for example, or beef + veal.

Pecorino instead, or with it, Parmesan is also a very good option.
1 or 2 days in the refrigerator, protected by a stretch film.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
1,842 Kcal or 7,712 Kj105 gr127 gr150 gr
92 %40 %12 %23 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
159 Kcal or 666 Kj9 gr11 gr13 gr
8 %3 %1 %2 %
Per piece
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
74 Kcal or 310 Kj4 gr5 gr6 gr
4 %2 %<1 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Gluten, Milk, Egg
How much will it cost?
  • For 25 pieces : 7.17 €
  • Per piece : 0.29 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
Minced beefMinced beef: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Italian style gratin, Express chilli con carne, Gratin Parmentier, Moussaka, Enchiladas, ... All
Peeled and chopped tomatoesPeeled and chopped tomatoes: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Veal Marengo, Sunday night pasta, Sausages with baked beans, French style, Spinach and chick peas "à la milanaise", Rice à l'italienne, ... All
Parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan)Parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan): You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Vegetable tian, Green asparagus omelette, Spaghetti with mussels and basil, Leek and artichoke tart à la piémontaise, Raw beetroot salad, ... All
Olive oilOlive oil: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Potatoes with bacon and herbs, Spaghetti with smoked salmon, Madras rice, Pan-fried scallops and chanterelles with Noilly Prat sauce, Sautéed pork with mushrooms in a cream sauce., ... All
Other recipes you may also like
Fruit crumble
Fruit crumble
A fruit pudding: very easy to do and delicious: just a layer of fruit with a golden crunchy topping.
336K4.0 1 hour 11 min. February 21th 2011
Rémoulade dressing
Rémoulade dressing
This dressing is a kind of mayonnaise with vinegar, used for some salads like celeriac rémoulade. Usually it is prepared from mayonnaise, but here is another version, simpler and just as tasty.
848K3.9 6 min. October 3rd 2010
Chicken nems
Chicken nems
Nems are probably the best known Far Eastern dish in France. These small crispy rolls can be made in different flavours: chicken, crab, pork, etc. Making your own is not very complicated, the only difficulty is in the rolling stage. You will find in this recipe full details on how to successfully...
482K3.8 2 hours 21 min. April 6th 2017
Muffin dough
Muffin dough
This dough can be used to make this delicious and classic of the English cooking: muffins. It can be sweet, in different flavours, with fruit, but also savoury in other recipes.
529K5 21 min. February 6th 2013
Blackcurrant sorbet for Edith
Blackcurrant sorbet for Edith
If you love the taste of blackcurrants (like Edith), this sorbet is for you...
235K4.9 23 min. October 13th 2010
News list of cooking-ez.com

Sign up to receive the latest recipes (next batch due to be sent on 2023-06-11)

Your first name or nickname
Your e-mail
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Follow this recipe
If you are interested in this recipe, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the recipe is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page