Polpettine alla Napoletana (Meatballs) √

Makes 12 to 15 meatballs.

Note: From Mario Batali.

• 1/4 c. pine nuts

4 c. basic tomato sauce (see recipe)

• 3 c. (1/4-in.) cubes of day old bread

• 2 c. whole milk

• 1 1/2 lb. ground beef

• 3 eggs

• 3 garlic cloves

1/2 c. grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

• 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley

• 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• Parsley leaves, for garnish

• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


To toast pine nuts, bake for 8 minutes in a 400-degree oven; set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, bring tomato sauce to a fast simmer.

Put the bread cubes in a medium bowl and pour the milk over. Set aside.

In the bowl of a countertop mixer fitted with a paddle or dough hook, combine the beef and the eggs. Grate the garlic over the bowl with a microplane. Add in grated pecorino, toasted pine nuts, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix briefly just to combine.

Add the milk-soaked bread cubes to the meat mixture and mix for about 1 minute until it comes together, but still has some texture and moisture.

Form the mixture into 12 to 15 meatballs, each smaller than a tennis ball but larger than a golf ball. Gently add the meatballs to the sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

Top the meatballs with parsley leaves, freshly grated pecorino and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Nutrition information per each of 15 meatballs, with sauce:

Calories 217 Fat 13 g

Sodium 360 mg Carbohydrates 12 g

Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 140 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 73 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 2 medium-fat meat, ½ fat.

Basic Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups.

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 large onion, cut in 1/4 -in. dice

• 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tbsp. dried

1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded

2 (28-oz.) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved

• Kosher salt to taste


In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot, and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Nutrition information per ¼ cup:

Calories 53 Fat 4 g

Sodium 144 mg Carbohydrates 5 g

Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 37 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.