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Polpettine de Pane

Beefy Italian meatballs in ciabatta with oozy cheese, grilled eggplant and salad greens.

February 17, 2017

Polpettine de Pane

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Polpettine de Pane

ingredients for six
300gm veal mince
300gm beef mince
⅓ cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
35gm grated parmesan
2Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1½ tsp dried oregano
80gm onion, very finely chopped
salt and pepper
560ml quality tomato sauce for pasta
to serve
1 x 300gm eggplant
6 x large ciabatta rolls
2 x garlic cloves, peeled
180gm provolone cheese
50gm rocket leaves
olive oil for frying and brushing


  1. Place all meatball ingredients in large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Meatballs will hold together if combined well there, no egg necessary to bind.
  2. Using a #60 ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, turn the mixture into about 30 meatballs and roll between dampened hands to create smooth balls.
  3. Pre-heat large frying pan over medium high heat.
  4. Fry meatballs in batches in olive oil for few minutes, until golden but not quite cooked through. Swirl pan often to retain shape of meatballs.
    Add tomato sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Pre-heat BBQ or ribbed pan. Cut 6 x1cm thick slices from eggplant, brush generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes either side until soft and cooked through. Set aside.
  6. Cut buns in half. Brush cut sides lightly with olive oil. Grill cut side down for a minute or so until toasted.
  7. Rub toasted bus with raw garlic clove.
  8. Place eggplant slices on base of rolls.
  9. Pre-heat oven grill to medium. Divide meat balls and a little sauce on base of each roll, top with slices of provolone. Place under grill to just melt cheese.
  10. Add rocket as serving (and aioli if liked).
  11. Top polpette with lid of bun.
  12. Serve with serviettes!

cooks notes

  • There are plenty of lovely pasta tomato sauces many without any nasties in them available to purchase, or make your own.
  • These meatballs would also be fantastic served with our favourite spaghetti brand; Martelli – look out for the bright yellow packet.
  • These meatballs can be served as finger food; fry first to colour, then finish in 180°C oven for 5 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with tomato based dipping sauce.
  • Provolone is a sharp, tasty Italian cheese which melts beautifully. Replace with your favourite melting cheese.
  • This is a very satisfying quick casual meal all the family will hopefully enjoy.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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