Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pasticcio Vitello Polpetta

In a previous post I wrote about the "Introspective Meatball". I would suggest reading this first before undertaking this meatball. 

Pasticcio Vitello Polpetta is a fancy way of saying in Italian a hodgepodge or medley Veal Meatball. 


3 lbs of ground Veal
6 eggs scrambled
150 grams currants. 
60 grams roasted pine-nuts

60 grams Onion
5 cloves Garlic (20 grams)
40 grams Sun-dried Tom in Olive oil

1 cup Ricotta (300 grams)

2 oz butter
1/2 cup of Port

2 Tsp pepper
1 Tbl Salt
Handful Parsley (20 grams)
Handful Basil (20 grams)

90 grams of white bread cut into small pieces 
1 cup milk

1 cup Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino cheese

1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
Additional bread crumbs to coat meatballs. 

Place meat in very large bowl.  

Things to do ahead

  • Weigh out all ingredients
  • Weigh out currants and dose with a little port to re-hydrate. 
  • Cut up bread into squares and add milk. Make sure bread is thoroughly coated and mixed with milk. 
  • Roast pine nuts.  Place nuts in pan and put a little color on them. Be careful not to burn. 
  • Puree Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and onion in food processor. 
  • In a pan place butter and port and reduce by half. 
  • Chop Parsley and Basil very fine
  • Scramble the eggs
Next step
  • drain the currants
  • extract most of milk from bread by squeezing gently
  • Toss all ingredients now into large bowl and mix. Don't over mix other wise meatballs will be dense. Just mix long enough to incorporate
  • Make sure to follow my techniques outlined in my post "Introspective Meatball"
  • After everything is mixed pinch off some meat and fry it, taste it , adjust seasonings if you need too. 
  • Form meatballs.  I used an ice-cream scoop and made 50 meatballs.
  • Bake at 450 for thirty minutes and braise in sauce. 
  • I used my No Fuss No Muss Sauce for my meatballs.  To the sauce I added some chicken stock to thin it out and get the consistency I needed.  I than submerged the meatballs in sauce and cooked for about 1 hour.

My thoughts and notes:

  • If you don't like currants try using raisins; I prefer golden or none at all.
  • Try different hard cheeses.....there are many of them. 
  • Pines nuts are just an optional ingredient. 
  • Fry the meatballs instead?
  • Use Shallots instead of Onions.
  • Use a Marsala wine instead of Port.
  • Low fat Ricotta cheese....Absolutely not!!