Tag Archives: Meatballs

Italian polpette sauce for pasta dishes

Italian meatball sauce is a classic and one that is easy to prepare, follow my simple instructions in the slide presentation below. Enjoy!  

In the presentation I have used locally available produce and have reduced the fat content in the whole recipe, however it is still delicious according to my family. If you try out the recipe let me know what you think, leave a note in the comments below. Thank you.

Presentation Slides for the Recipe on slideshare

Notes from the slides:
  1. No notes 
  2. Most of my ingredients are organic home produce.
  3. I tend to always cook ‘last minute’ so having carrot and celery stalks in the freezer is a must! The onion or garlic is always fresh as it keeps better. Plus I just love my pressure cooker!!
    Now I know most of you will be thinking why isn’t she sautéing the vegetables, well I prefer to leave out frying whenever I can, but you can certainly sauté the vegetables at this stage.
  4. First mix the basics here, mixing all ingredients well before adding the breadcrumbs. I don’t add garlic or onion to the meatballs as I add it to the Tomato sauce, it also makes for a more delicate flavour meatball.
  5. I use my own homemade breadcrumbs which is why it looks lumpy but you may use finer grated breadcrumbs.
  6. Roll the homogeneous mixture into a ball and let it sit for at least 10mins in the refrigerator, but even more than that is no problem.
  7. I like to have the meatballs all the same size so I use a tablespoon from my standard cutlery, sometimes I make mini meatballs to add to Broth with Maltagliati – so I use a tea or coffee spoon to measure the quantity.
  8. I leave the rolling of the meatballs till last, as it is easier to do them all at once, but it doesn’t change the flavour if you like to measure them and roll them one by one.
  9. I always make an uneven amount, sort of superstition in cooking!
  10. I am adding the wine here although I could have added it at the beginning and just let the vegetables soak in it, but it doesn’t change anything so you can add it now or previously. My main problem is that I am always in a rush and getting things from the freezer comes before getting things from the refrigerator!
  11. Place the meatballs down gently on top of the vegetables taking care not to lose their shape too much!
  12. I find that 1 litre is plenty for four plates, but if you want more tomato just add it here.
    I buy my tomato sauce nowadays as we do find great products here in the local supermarkets, but in the early days I would always make my own, from 60 litres to 150 litres!! Now I just make my own hot chilly salsa (all organic home grown!).
  13. I tend to overuse my pressure cooker and not just due to the ‘being in a rush all the time’, but also because I find that cooking under pressure seems to give that tenderness and not over dry the tomato sauce.
  14. I use aluminium pots for boiling water for pasta as it seems to be quicker to boil and re-boil once the pasta is dropped in which naturally lowers the water temperature.
  15. The image of success (in cooking).
  16. I always remove meat (as do most Italian housewives) from the ‘sugo’ before straining the pasta. Sometimes I use thermal containers to keep it warm.
  17. You can avoid using another bowl by simply straining the whole pot and replacing the pasta back in the same pot and dressing it there, but it’s all a matter of habit, I guess.
  18. If you prefer to have a smoother sauce you can always use a plunge mixer to smooth it down, I often do this when I have guests (or kiddies) as it looks refined or easier for kiddies to eat everything.
  19. Over my very short time in cooking one thing has been a revelation, how easy it is to make changes to the basic recipe sometimes re-inventing a new dish or new flavours.
 Transcript of the slides:

1. “Sugo alle Polpette” Italian sauce, for pasta, with meatballs. Recipe by Nives Torresi

2. Ingredients Serves 4 for entree 200 grams lean beef mince ½ chopped or sliced onion 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 ½ tablespoons breadcrumbs 1 garlic clove, 1 small carrot 1 small stalk of celery 1 egg 1 litre Italian tomato sauce (passata) 125 ml of white table wine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil salt & pepper to taste 250 grams of pasta (penne)

3. Method – step one In a pressure cooker add a splash of oil, sliced onion, garlic, carrot and celery.

4. Method – step two In a mixing bowl add 200 grams mince meat, egg, parsley, splash of oil, salt & pepper

5. Method – step three Mix all ingredients by hand (gloves if you like) then add the breadcrumbs …

6. Method – step three cont… … creating a homogeneous mixture

7. Method – step four Let mixture rest for 15mins, then use a tablespoon to ‘measure’ the same amount for all meatballs

8. Method – step four … Check one to see if it is right for you… then make all the sized out lumps before shaping the rest of the meatballs

9. Method – step five Finish making all the meatballs and place on tray

10. Method – step six Go to pressure cooker and add wine to the vegetables

11. Method – step seven Add meatballs and place inside the pressure cooker without overlapping

12. Method – step eight Next add the red tomato sauce Covering the meatballs in the pressure cooker Then add a dash of oil plus Salt and Pepper

13. Method – step nine Put the lid on the pressure cooker onto the stove top with flame on high and when it is whistling close the air valve and cook for 30 minutes on a very low flame

14. Method – step ten When there are about 10 minutes to go for meatballs get the pasta water to boiling point – add rock salt (1 tablespoon) to boiling water, then add 250 grams of pasta (I used penne this time). Remember to turn off flame for the pressure cooker and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before opening valve and lid. You can use any pasta you like, but if you use fresh pasta then wait to cook it when the meatball sauce is ready, as fresh pasta cooks quickly.

15. Method – step eleven What you should see when you open the pressure cooker

16. Method – step eleven cont… Now remove the meatballs, carrot and celery stalk from the sauce – place them in a bowl or container. This is what it should look like now…

17. Method – step twelve Strain the pasta and add to a mixing bowl, then dress with a small amount of cooked sauce

18. Serving suggestion Serve pasta into 4 plates and dress with extra sauce and add 3 meatballs on top, don’t forget the grated cheese!

19. Making changes to the recipe If you don’t have or want to use a pressure cooker, then double the cooking time by using a medium sized pot. Bring to boil then simmer on very low heat for about 55-60 minutes. Use same recipe for 6 people only change the amount of mince to 300 grams and add an extra ½ tablespoon of breadcrumbs and olive oil. Increase pasta to 400gm. Recipe as is can also serve two as a main meal. Questions or comments are welcome, thank you.

20. Thank you Cooking tutorial prepared by Mrs Nives Torresi