Meatballs (polpette)
==================== 2021-02-06

Inspired from:  Rachel Roddy's very best recipe for meatballs

Comment: Beef only or beef and pork or even better, beef, veal and pork. Your choice. My tests show that it does not change the consistency of the meatballs, only the taste a little. I prefer half beef, half pork.
Paprika, strong, sweet, smoked, your choice.
It is also possible to pre-cook the meatballs in the oven, 180C / 20 min instead of frying them, or to only cook hem in the tomato sauce.
For the sauce, 2 options, either a tomato sauce (described here), or a Red wine sauce. In both cases, finish cooking the meatballs for ~15 min in the sauce.
It is only necessary to add the eggs to the meat if you do not use pork. Normally the meatballs hold together as is.
When making ball, roll the meat in your palms by pressing the meat, then while rolling, release the pressure to form a ball. This way, the meatballs will remain whole during cooking.
It may seem like a lot of tomato sauce for this recipe, but you need enough to be able to cook the meatballs, and anyway, what could be better than a good homemade tomato sauce.

6 servings

Tomato sauce ingredients:

3 cans of peeled tomatoes, diced 400 g with all the juice (i.e. 1200 g in total).
2 large bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 or 2 celery stalks (opt)
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 dl dry white wine
1 not so level teaspoon of salt
pepper ad libitum


In a saucepan, put the tomatoes with all their juice, the bay leaves, the herbs, the celery stalk, salt and pepper, and the white wine.
Simmer for 1 hour on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Remove the herbs and celery and mash the tomatoes with a potato masher.

Keep warm, stirring occasionally, since now the meatballs should be ready to cook.

Ingredients for the meatballs:

900 g ground beef or mix (see comment)
1 finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
2 eggs (see comment)
100 g bread, crust removed, soaked in a little milk and wrung out
1 level teaspoon of salt
chopped parsley (~2 tablespoons)
1 pinch of thyme
1 no so level tablespoon of paprika (see comment)

Preparation of the meatballs:

Sweat the chopped onion in a little EVOO with a pinch of salt. Leave to cool, add to the meat.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then make the balls ~3 cm in diameter.
Brown them in 2 or 3 batches in a pan with a little roasting oil.

Place them in the sauce and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally before serving (with pasta for example).