Meatballs in tomato sauce-Polpette Al Sugo
Meatballs in tomato sauce-Polpette Al Sugo
Posted on
March 08, 2023
achilleas petris

Grandmothers make them for grandchildren and mothers for their children, their aroma inebriates the house and "stealing" them from the pot is almost a must!

But what are we talking about? Meatballs, of course!

"Polpette al sugo" represents an inevitable dish of Italian cuisine, they can be found on all tables, from north to south, and everyone knows how to make them.

It is simple, inexpensive, and has plenty of variations that everyone enjoys!

The version with tomato sauce is the most famous and most delicious because once the meatballs are finished, there remains the sauce to serve with pasta the next day or make the famous "scarpetta."

Most traditional Italian dishes are served on Sundays for lunch because this has always been considered a day when the family gathers around a table.

To prepare them, we can also be more flexible with the amounts, meatballs do not require precision or perfection, their perfection is found in imperfection!

To give the idea of flexibility in popular Italian cuisine we can use this expression referring to the quantity of an ingredient: "a occhio" that is, how much you think will be enough according to your taste.

Is the favorite dose of all Italian grandmothers and mothers!

They can be prepared with ground exclusively veal or with a mix of pork and beef for a stronger flavor.

After this introduction we can go into their preparation!

This recipe is by Nonna Silvana and implemented here by Nonna Rosetta.


- 500 g minced veal meat (2 cups)

- 2 eggs

- 150 g grated parmesan cheese (3/5 cup)

- Bread crumbs (3 slices of cassette bread)

- Finely chopped parsley

- 1 clove of garlic

- Tomato paste 700 gr (3 cups)

- Salt

- Pepper

- Oil


The first step is to soak the cassette bread deprived of the edges in a little water for a few minutes. After that you need to squeeze it very well and put it in a bowl with the ground meat.

The simplicity of this recipe lies in the fact that all the ingredients can be added in no particular order!

We then proceed by adding the two eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper to the mixture and mix everything initially with a ladle and then when the mixture has reached more firmness we can use our hands.

The meatballs should have a definite consistency, not too soft but not too hard either, this compromise gives them their typical softness.

If by forming a ball in your hands the dough does not stick to the palm of your hand then they are ready!

To give the characteristic shape of the meatballs we proceed by putting some oil on the palms, in this way forming the meatball will not stick thanks to the oil that will make it perfectly round.

As soon as all the meatballs are ready, heat the oil in a nonstick pan and, when it is hot, lay the meatballs in it, frying them on both sides for a couple of minutes.

The meatballs will need to be cooked in the sauce, so we remove the excess oil and transfer them to a larger pot with the tomato paste and garlic clove.

With the lid half-closed the meatballs will cook about 45 minutes on a low flame, if the sauce shrinks too much add a little water, it should be thick but not too thick, light but also full-bodied. 

PS: While you are here, why not give a try to our delicious vino! Click here to learn more. 


 Explore more of our recipes here.

Words and Photographs by Gianina Rose

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