Meatballs are one of those incredible inventions that travel the world uniting cuisines from across the globe.
Polpette is a word denoting Italian meatballs, traditionally consisting of ground beef or veal that is shaped into small balls. These meatballs are usually enriched with a wide variety of ingredients such as parsley, eggs, garlic, mashed potatoes & Parmigiana Reggiano.
Although some might think that polpette are served with pasta, that is mostly a North American thing. Italian polpetti are typically consumed on their own as a snack, appetizer or finger food.
These little meatballs are incredibly soft due to the good amount of mashed potatoes in them. Instead of being appetizers, I added some extra veggies to make it a main course. We really enjoyed the whole combination.
Fried Meatballs w/ Potato
In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water & boil gently until tender.
In a large skillet, combine oil with 1/2 tsp minced garlic & the rosemary. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant but not colored. Add the ground meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt & pepper, cook stirring occasionally until browned. Drain any fat from meat & transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes; it should absorb as much as possible.
Drain the potatoes as soon as they are tender. Peel them while still hot & mash or rice them. Place in the bowl with the meat; add soaked bread & remaining 1/2 tsp garlic, parsley, 1 egg & the Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly.
Break the remaining egg into a small bowl & beat it lightly with 2 Tbsp water. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Lightly roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip the meatballs first in the beaten egg, lifting them out one at a time & letting any excess egg drip back into the bowl. Roll them in the bread crumbs & set aside on a platter.
Pour about 1/2-inch veg oil into a large skillet & heat. Add as many meatballs as will fit loosely in the pan & fry, turning as necessary, until evenly browned all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer the browned meatballs to a wire rack or paper towels. Continue to fry remaining meatballs. For our supper I added some mushrooms & peppers.