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Polpette – Is it just me, or is this impossible to say without mimicking an Italian accent? Except, of course, I am the absolute worst at accents and everything I try to do always comes out sounding Russian.

“Oh Boris, this accent is so bad it’s good.”
“Natasha, we must catch moose and squirrel!”

These meatless meatballs are a perfect pairing for sauteed rapini, or for any other greens that you prefer to rustle up.

Last Sunday night, I cooked them with spaghetti because I was looking for one last carby-hurrah before focusing my attention on more health-conscious recipes. In case you didn’t hear, I’m doing a 30 day challenge (attempt #2) – so I thought it would be prudent to alter my meal plans in order to be a little more ‘clean’. *sob* *sob* Buh-bye ice-cream!

But anyway, enough of that talk. If you close your eyes, you might just be able to let the deliciousness take over, and perhaps convince yourself that this meal is healthy. It’s worth a try right?

I have found that the key to making these polpette the tastiest is in keeping the balls small <insert inappropriate joke here>. If you make them too big they take way longer to cook, and I find they stay too mushy in the middle. But, to each their own I suppose. If you like big balls, so be it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (5-1/2 oz/156 mL) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sliced fresh basil

Preparation

In bowl, mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, baking powder and salt; stir in eggs, milk, garlic and parsley. With your hands, shape into 20 balls (get your hands a little oily first if you find the mix is sticking).

Refrigerate on baking sheet for 30 minutes. This step is absolutely necessary in order for the balls to stay together will cooking. Do not skip!

Tomato Sauce: In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups water, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and salt; simmer until thickened, about 25 minutes.

I will admit it. I feel guilty. This time I used jarred spaghetti sauce rather than cooking the recipe I just gave you. I had some leftover stuff that needed to be used ok? Don’t judge me!

Moving right along … in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook balls, turning often, until golden all over, about 8 minutes.

Make sure that you really get them nice and crispy. No body likes soggy balls (zing!).

Using slotted spoon, transfer to sauce. Cover and simmer until firm inside, about 20 minutes.

Stir in basil and serve with greens (if you want to fit into your pants later), or spaghetti (if you are like me, and think that all pants should have elastic waists). Eat it with, or without, a shit tonne of mozza melted on top. Your choice.

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