In Italy, polpette are an institution. In the UK you tend to only have meatballs, which are meat-based polpette and are usually served on top of pasta, or with mash if you go to Ikea. However in Italy polpette are one of the most versatile dishes ever! People make them in all sorts of ways and with all sorts of ingredients. I know of people making lentil-based vegan olpette or others making their own vegetarian option or again fish-based ones (tuna).
These ricotta polpette I am sharing with you today are a staple in our house and I make them several times per month. That’s because they take half an hour to make and they are delish! Here is how I make them.
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 handful fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp dry)
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 onions
- 1/2 carrot
- 11/2 cup passata
- Olive oil
- Tip the ricotta in a bowl and add the egg, parmesan cheese, some finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
- Mix using a fork until well combined, then add the breadcrumbs little by little until fully incorporated.
- At this point you can taste the mixture and make sure it’s ok for seasoning.
- Take a spoonful of mixture and roll it between your hands, then slightly flatten it against a surface.
- Now for the sauce, heat a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a pan and gently cook the finely chopped onion and carrot.
- Once the onion is translucent and the carrot is starting to soften, pour in the passata. Season to taste.
- Let the sauce cook for 10 minutes on medium-low, mixing it from time to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Now add the polpette you’ve made and let them cook for 10 minutes with a lid on. Once they start to become firmer, turn them over delicately.
- Serve hot alongside mash potatoes!
- You can also add frozen peas to the tomato sauce when cooking.