Polpettone – the great Apulian meatball – granny’s in the kitchen or the Nonna di Giulia photoshoot

finishedSo I was all set to write this post, but thinking of the Nonna di Giulia  started me thinking about my  own granny, and I couldn’t mix the memory of my granny with a story of someone else’s granny making  traditional Italian meatballs, which has led to my second post of the night. Now Nonna di Giulia is a lot younger than my granny was when I first met her, but she too, doesn’t do any weighing of ingredients, it’s all a flick of the wrist, a sprinkle of this and little flecks of chopped herbs. So I don’t have a recipe, but I do have a photo series, which will enable you to follow along.Polpette 1

The ingredients – 2 eggs, chopped parsley and mint a handful of both together, translates into about 1/2 a cup and 400g of meat, half beef and half pork. You also need some ham, some hardboiled eggs and some galbani cheese. I guess you could use some industrial type mozarella, not the soft stuff, too at a pinch. And you also need some grated toscanello cheese (yes I know, I only just heard of it too, as I write). Toscanello cheese is called “pecorino toscano” – consistency of pecorino but much less sharp and salty http://www.cheese.com/toscanello/ , and you also need the breadcrumbs you can buy. Popette 3 I love the photos below, they give an inkling of how fast Nonna di Giulia works and churns out goodies.

Polpette 4

Polpette 7Polpette 6

Polpettone cheeseReadying the galbani cheese to put in the middle, working hand in hand in the kitchen, husband next to wife, a lovely collaboration, with not a single argument. Might this be the recipe for success for a satisfactory marriage? If so, put down those remote controls, switch off the Ipads and get thee to the kitchens….just a thought. You all know I am very much enamoured of that elusive older and slower world…

Filling the polpettone with hard boiled egg slices and ham slices. Polpette 8Polpette 9Patting the filling on the top. And making them into little torpedoes:Fast hands Polpette

The breadcrumb covering maneuver: Fast and furious hand movements:

Polpette 14Polpette 15

Polpette 17And the question on the above photo is: are you tough enough to take the revolving polpettone challenge without flinging them around the kitchen and making a mess? As you have by now guessed I wasn’t which is why I did a photo cover shoot and thusly had a nice excuse for why I couldn’t get my hands dirty. Wimpy  I know…….

Et voila:

Popettone ready

Now on to fry – because frying things in the house is malodorous, the frying happens outside in the garden sink. First you heat the oil inside:Heating the oilFryoutside

The frying process:frying 2

frying 1

frying 3

frying 7

The finished product – Polpette – the small ones, polpettone, the big torpedo-shaped ones, deep fried both of them and making a beeline for hips near you (or in Johnny’s case targeting the piglet…). finishedFinal product on a plateAnd this is what it looks like on the plate covered in tomato sauce. The latter made with 2 kgs of fresh tomatoes, early in the morning, another 5 am start. But that my dears, is a story for another day!


17 thoughts on “Polpettone – the great Apulian meatball – granny’s in the kitchen or the Nonna di Giulia photoshoot

  1. Fabulous post. And I bet those tasted great. Love the photos of the rapid hand movements. Talking of breadcrumbs I made some during the week to coat leftover risotto balls – and didn’t destroy my kitchen in the process. Hoping to go with the recipe over the weekend. Although I’m going with baking them 🙂 Too much oil!

    • thanks 🙂 – yes I didn’t mention they did taste wonderful Re the hand movements yes, amazing, no wonder she gets so much done in a day…..and on deep frying I avoid it myself, hate the smell in the house, don’t know what to do with the leftover oil, not to mention the other aspect 🙂 I go with baking too.

  2. Love this post! These are wonderful. I love how the frying took place outside in the garden sink! 🙂 I can only imagine how delicious her cooking is. Lovely photographs too, don’t need a recipe when you have it visually documented so well.

    • thank you – her cooking is wonderful and fresh and involved, and funnily enough because they don’t really eat desserts and no processed food all homemade food with only fresh fruits it’s really healthy too.

  3. they look tasty, and that speckled pot is beautiful.

    grandmother-style cooking is both previous but frustrating – I can never exactly replicate the flavor of my grandma’s cooking!

  4. The memories of your grandmother quite moved me and brought up memories of my own. – The Grandmother of Giulia most probably would never have dreamed of appearing in a picture show “to show off her talents”. Lovely!

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