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Polpette recipe

Polpette recipe

3 ratings

A Venetian classic, these bite-sized fried meatballs are traditionally eaten as a snack or as part of a sharing platter. Using a combination of pork and beef mince gives the meatballs a rich and juicy texture, while grated nutmeg, crushed fennel seeds and a sprinkle of Parmesan season them to perfection. See method

  • Makes 16
  • 10 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook
  • 122 calories / serving


  • 1 slice white bread
  • milk, for soaking
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 75g dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g minced pork
  • 250g minced beef
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, for squeezing
If you haven't got any white bread, try using brown instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    7g 10%
  • Saturates

    2g 12%
  • Sugars

    1g 1%
  • Salt

    0.3g 5%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 6.2g Protein 9.9g Fibre 0.3g


  1. Put the bread in a bowl, cover with milk; leave to soak a little.
  2. Meanwhile, scatter the flour and breadcrumbs over separate plates. Whisk 1 egg in bowl with a splash of water; set aside.
  3. Put the pork, minced beef, remaining eggs, Parmesan, parsley, a little nutmeg, fennel seeds and garlic in a bowl; season. Squeeze the liquid out of the bread and add to the bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. Roll the mixture into 16 meatballs.
  4. Dust each meatball in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs until coated. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the meatballs in batches for 8-10 mins, until cooked through and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then squeeze over the lemon.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Cook, chill and then freeze well wrapped for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight and warm through in a moderate oven before serving.

See more Italian recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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