Classic Meatballs 'Polpettine'



  • 2 Pounds  each of ground beef, veal, and pork
  • 1 Cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • whole eggs
  • 1 Cup  pulsed fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup  whole milk
  •   Olive oil, as needed
  • 4 Cups  homemade classic tomato sauce
  •   Salt and pepper, to taste

Lomonaco took some time away from running his busy New York City restaurants to take part in New York City’s Wine & Food Festival’s Meatball Madness. He dished out plates and plates of these balls at the event and was a runner-up at the event. 

Click here to read How to Make a Better Meatball


Combine the ground beef, pork, and veal in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley, garlic, cheese, and eggs, and mix well to incorporate.

Soak the fresh breadcrumbs in milk for 2 minutes, then add to the meat mixture and combine well. Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper; test the seasonings by cooking a tablespoon of the mixture in a skillet and tasting it. 

Set up a platter to hold the meatballs and begin forming the meat into 2-ounce size meatballs — an ice cream scoop may serve as a guide, or roughly 4 tablespoons worth will equal 2 ounces — and setting them on the platter while you continue to make meatballs. Keep the batches of meatballs refrigerated while continuing to make more meatballs. When they are all completed, keep cold until ready to cook.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and put a small layer of olive oil in the bottom and heat for 30 seconds before adding several meatballs, in 1 layer, to cover the bottom of the skillet,  and cook and brown on all sides. Continue to cook the meatballs in batches by coating the bottom of the skillet with enough oil, heating, adding meatballs to the pan without overcrowding, and sautéing them on all sides. 

Add the tomato sauce to a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add the cooked meatballs and lower the sauce to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes. 

Serve immediately or cool and keep refrigerated 5 days.


Calories per serving:

2,037 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 780g 1,199%
  • Carbs 148g 49%
  • Saturated 288g 1,440%
  • Fiber 23g 90%
  • Trans 21g
  • Sugars 49g
  • Monounsaturated 340g
  • Polyunsaturated 52g
  • Protein 1,088g 2,176%
  • Cholesterol 4,394mg 1,465%
  • Sodium 10,420mg 434%
  • Calcium 2,249mg 225%
  • Magnesium 1,407mg 352%
  • Potassium 20,986mg 600%
  • Iron 86mg 478%
  • Zinc 171mg 1,140%
  • Phosphorus 11,345mg 1,621%
  • Vitamin A 933µg 104%
  • Vitamin C 163mg 272%
  • Thiamin (B1) 20mg 1,337%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 14mg 835%
  • Niacin (B3) 314mg 1,570%
  • Vitamin B6 23mg 1,173%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 740µg 185%
  • Vitamin B12 75µg 1,256%
  • Vitamin D 15µg 4%
  • Vitamin E 32mg 158%
  • Vitamin K 1,073µg 1,341%
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