Dish of Neapolitan cuisine Sunday. The meatballs

polpetta ragù

Round or slightly flattened, crisp on the outside but always soft inside, meatballs are a typical feature of Neapolitan Sunday lunch. Fried or cooked in tomato sauce, they taste even better the day after they are made. Made from minced beef, moistened stale bread, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese bound together with beaten eggs, they are stuffed with sultanas and pine kernels before being fried. Hot from the pan, warm or even cold, meatballs can be eaten fried all year round with potatoes and green salad or cooked in tomato sauce.


600 gminced beef
250 gstale bread
120 ggrated parmesan
1 clove garlic, chopped
parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 egg
50 gsultanas
50 gpine kernels
400 gtin of tomatoes
1 tsp tomato purée
1 onion
olive oil


Moisten the bread in water for a few minutes, then squeeze, break into small pieces and mix with the minced beef. Mix in the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, parmesan and the egg to bind the mixture. With dampened hands, form small balls and press a couple of sultanas and pine kernels into each meatball. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until they are crisp but not hard, then leave to dry on kitchen paper. For the tomato sauce (optional), fry some onions in a little oil, add the tomatoes and tomato purée. When the sauce has reduced, add the meatballs and simmer until they have softened. If preferred the meatballs can be added directly to the tomato sauce without prior frying.