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Polpette Con Sugo (Italian meatballs in tomato sauce) di Nonna Laura

Polpette Con Sugo (Italian meatballs in tomato sauce) di Nonna Laura

Another tried and true super simple and mouthwatering recipe from my Nonna. I’ve sat at so many different kitchen tables and rolled these exact meatballs with her countless times. The smell of onion frying in olive oil, fresh tomatoes, basil, and beef and parsley bring me back to all those tables and all of our conversations. My favorite part about all my Nonna’s recipes is the simplicity and authenticity of the fresh ingredients. It’s about highlighting the natural flavors of the food and this recipe exemplifies just that.
Made with Amore,
Elena and Nonna Laura 💗


  • 1 pound of full fat ground beef
  • 2 slices of stale bread with
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley (optional 1 Tbs fresh minced garlic)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 large can high quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 fresh basil leaves


  1. Soften the bread in milk until unified mixture
  2. Add the egg to bread mixture and combine
  3. Put the ground meat in a bowl with bread, finely chopped parsley, garlic(if using) grated parmigiano, salt, pepper.
  4. Combine egg mixture with meat mixture. Mix WELL with your hands. If it too wet add some breadcrumbs
  5. Take the beef mixture and gently roll between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Set on a cookie sheet
  6. Pour extra-virgin olive oil into a large frying pan and brown the onion (about 7 minutes on medium heat)
  7. Plunge your meatballs into the pot with the tomato sauce. Let it cook for on low for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked all the way.
  8. Once finished cooking add the basil and stir.
  9. Cook your favorite pasta or gnocchi, as directed by package,to serve with meatballs. You can also eat the without the pasta. Generously top with parmigiano and serve hot!
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