So 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.
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. I love the photos below, they give an inkling of how fast Nonna di Giulia works and churns out goodies.
Readying 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. Patting the filling on the top. And making them into little torpedoes:
The breadcrumb covering maneuver: Fast and furious hand movements:
And 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…….
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…). And 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!