Polpetti, served with angel hair pasta, summer vegetables and herbs
Outside of Italy, meatballs are most often served with spaghetti, but in Italy, they are presented quite differently. They make an excellent antipasto cooked in a tomato or wine sauce, or coated in bread crumbs and served plain. Here, I’ve poached them in chicken stock and paired them with angel hair pasta, summer squash and sugar snap peas. This is lovely, served either as a primi (or first course), or as an entrée.
2 slices stale bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 oz. prosciutto or mortadella, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, grated (or finely chopped)
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. lemon zest
pinch of kosher salt
freshly milled black pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
Soak the bread in the milk. When soft, squeeze out and discard the liquid. Use your hands to mix the bread with the remaining ingredients.
Take roughly 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time and form it into a round ball. If serving as a main course, make the meatballs larger.
Bring two quarts of seasoned chicken stock or beef stock to a boil. Drop in a few meatballs at a time. They are cooked when they float to the surface. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a platter. Serve in bowls with a little of the poaching liquid. If using in another recipe, keep warm.