Polpette in bianco like mamma used to make

Polpette in bianco like mamma used to make-feature-square-on-platter

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Polpette in bianco like mamma used to make, a timeless meatball recipe done in a white sauce, hence the name polpette in bianco. Craving an Italian meatball? These always deliver, from the moist luscious interior, to the lovely caramelized surface. A true crowd pleaser.




  • 300 g medium lean ground beef
  • 300 g ground pork
  • 1/2 cup minced mortadella
  • 1 free range chicken egg
  • 1 small white onion minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic minced (middle stem removed)
  • 1 cup of stale bread bread broken up (the insides, not the crust)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 100 g grated Parmigiano
  • 2 Tbsp Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaping tsp dried oregano
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 sage leaves, fresh or dried



  1. Take your day old bread and break up the inside crumb into a small bowl, discard the crust. Add the milk, and let that soak.
  2. In a large bowl, break up the ground beef and pork. Add in the mortadella and egg. Throw in the Italian breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, grated Parmigiano, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Take the milk-soaked bread, squeeze out the excess milk and throw the crumb into the mix.
  4. With your hands, spoon, or fork, mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  5. Take a small amount and form into a flat patty. Throw it into a pan and sauté it until cooked. Taste for seasoning, and adjust meat mixture with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into your hands. Shape the mixture into a ball, then using a side motion with your palms, shape the polpette into an oval. Place on a dish and continue until all the meat mixture is finished.
  7. In a large saute pan heat up some olive oil on medium to high heat. Place the polpette in gently and sear. Keep turning them until all sides are nice and golden brown, this takes about 15 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer, it should read between 158°F-160°F.


  1. Just before the polpette are done, add in the wine and sage leaves and turn  heat down a bit. Let that simmer for about a minute or so, until the alcohol has cooked out. Turn off heat.


  1. Place cooked polpette onto a nice serving dish. Pour the sauce from the pan over them and garnish with some fresh chopped parsley.
  2. Ready to serve.


These meatballs can be baked. Place the polpette on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake in a pre-heated 400°F oven for about 15-20 minutes. Check periodically with a meat thermometer, and look for that 158-160°F  interior temp. Also, turn them over so they get a golden color all over.

The best bread to use is a white bread, or a close second whole wheat.

I always remove the middle stem from the garlic: just cut the garlic in half and you will see this faint green stem, remove that, then mince your garlic. This will take some of that bitterness from the garlic flavor. It will also be easier to digest.

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