Sardinia is a culinary delight and nothing would please me more than to cook like the grandmothers who have baked and cooked for generations. The times I go walkabout, and it’s generally in the winter, the wafts of delightful delicacies that breeze through the crisp Mediterranean air leaves my mouth-watering and my stomach wanting the recipe.
My Italian language skills are decent enough to ask the women in the shops “Come fa le polpette?” They are more than eager to share the recipe from their grandmother’s kitchen, and I’ve taken their advice into my home and made it my own.
I’ve experimented with my meatballs and have come up with three different methods of cooking: bake, fry or add raw to tomato sauce. I’ve slowly improved and continue to ask the women in town for their advice. It’s a warm fuzzy friendship.
If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you will know that I don’t measure the ingredients, I eye-ball everything, plus, the leftovers always taste better the next day.
How to make mouth-watering meatballs
- 400 grams ground beef (this makes about 4 meals for 2 adults in my home)
- bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- salt & pepper
- The above ingredients are for your basic meatball, now let’s spice it up a bit.
- finely chopped garlic, carrot, onion or zucchini
- Adding too many ingredients takes away the intended flavour – keep it simple.
How to make meatballs in the oven:
- Throw all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.
- Use a tablespoon as measurement; ball together the beef mixture into the palm of your hand until round and slightly firm.
- Roll meatball in bread crumbs and set in oven pan.
- Set oven at 200.
- Bake 25 minutes for medium size meatballs.
- This is one of the healthiest options, I’ve made them in the oven several times and they were good, but dry.
How to fry meatballs:
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Use a tablespoon as measurement and ball mixture until round and slightly firm.
- Roll meatball in bread crumbs and set aside.
- Fill frying pan with desired oil and cook until golden brown; heat oil.
- If you have tomato sauce you can add the meatballs now. Oh, and here, in the mountains of Sardinia we don’t pare meatballs with pasta, no, never, it’s not even talked about, trust me, I’ve tried.
- Not so healthy this option but super delicious, as with all things fried.
How to make meatballs in tomato sauce:
- Okay, we get the gist of making meatballs now, right?
- Make your meatballs and add it your boiling tomato sauce.
- Cook for 35-40 minutes, stir slowly on medium heat.
- Want to know how to make tomato sauce like an Italian? That’s the link to my most popular post, be sure to read the comment section for more tips for a great tomato sauce.
I used to think it was gross to add raw meat to cooking tomato sauce, then one day a friend was over and we were chatting meatballs. He asked me how I made mine and I told him I fried them, then put them in tomato sauce. He looked at me quizzically and said “perche non metti direttamente nel sugo?” It was a good question and the following day I just did just that, and the meatballs turned out superb, I’ve made them like this ever since.
Happy Meatball making.