Polpetti (Meatballs)

posted in: Free From | 0

Makes 24 small meatballs



  • 400g lean pork mince
  • 200g dried breadcrumbs*
  • 200g grated pecorino romano or parmesan
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper to flavour
  • Optional: 1 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • Optional: Splash milk
  • Sunflower oil for frying



  1. Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir together using a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the ingredients are loosely incorporated, wet your (clean) hands and start to mix the ingredients together, gradually forming them into a large ball.
  3. Taking 1 heaped tsp at a time, gradually make small balls (no bigger than a ping pong ball) and form them into tight little spheres. If the ingredients are failing to combine well you can add a splash of milk. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, to allow the forms to steady ready for frying.
  4. In a very deep frying pan, add enough oil to allow 3-4 cm depth in the pan. Heat over a medium heat until it just about starts to smoke. A good test is to add a dice-sized piece of bread; if it starts to sizzle and brown instantly the oil is ready, if it just absorbs the oil you need to wait for it to heat a little longer.
  5. Fry the meatballs in batches of 6 or 8, turning every 3 – 4 minutes, until they are golden brown and cooked throughout. Do not leave the pan unattended at any point. If the oil begins to produce soapy-looking bubbles it has over-heated and should be replaced with fresh oil. Once cooked, remove the meatballs from the oil and drain on kitchen towel which will absorb any excess oil.


These meatballs can be enjoyed with crusty bread and an oily salad of avocado, tomato and spinach leaves, or can be added to a simple sauce. They also freeze very well if appropriately bagged. Remember to defrost in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before re-heating.


*Use gluten free rice crumbs to maintain a gluten free diet. You can find these in the Free From section of most supermarkets or in health food shops.