Baked Turkey “Polpettine” Meatballs

At the Agrihotel Elisabetta in Tuscany this summer, I was in charge of making the meatballs for the dinner buffet every morning. After the breakfast shift was over at 11:00 and I had finished serving Bencakes and omelets to guests, I would return to the kitchen to continue working until 1:00. In the kitchen, I would do an assortment of odd jobs. The most common ones were to grind meatball ingredients and roll them together into “polpettine” (tiny meatballs), and to make sheets of fresh pasta or lasagna.

Making pasta at the Agrihotel. Doing this and making meatballs were two common tasks in the morning.

Making pasta at the Agrihotel. Doing this and making meatballs were two common tasks in the morning.

This recipe for baked turkey meatballs is my homage to times spent in the Agrihotel kitchen, stuffing lamb and cow meat down the grinding hole. These meatballs are simple, succulent, and healthy. The parmigiano, fresh tomato sauce, and prosciutto give them extra flavor.

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

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Baked Turkey “Polpette” Meatballs

Makes about 45 tiny meatballs

  • 1. 5 pounds Ground Turkey
  • 1.5 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmigiano
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Milked Breadcrumbs (see below for instructions)
  • 1/4 cup Prosciutto Cotto, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Parsley
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 3 tsp. Pepper
  • 24 oz can of Tomato Puree Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil + extra
  • 15 leaves Basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For milked breadcrumbs: Let fresh bread sit in milk for a few minutes. Then blend it. Measure out 1/4 packed milky bread mush.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

Brush olive oil on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll small meatballs in the palms of your hands. If you find that the mixture is too crumbly, add more wet ingredients or another egg. If you form sticky hands, keep a glass of water nearby to wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to your skin.

Brush each meatball with olive oil.

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

Brush meatballs with olive oil before baking.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until centers are completely cooked through and tops are browned. Cooking time may depend on size of meatballs.

Baked meatballs.

Baked meatballs.

While the polpettine (tiny meatballs) are cooking, pour tomato puree in a large pot and heat with 1/4 cup olive oil and basil. Season with salt if needed. Let boil for a few minutes over medium heat and then turn off stove.

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

Baked Turkey "Polpettine" Meatballs

Once meatballs are done, add to the hot pot of tomato sauce. Enjoy with parmigiano, pesto, and/or spaghetti.

An orchestra of harmonic flavors.

An orchestra of harmonic flavors.

 

Buon Appetito!

 

5 responses on “Baked Turkey “Polpettine” Meatballs

  1. i love the cake Ben! i did use coconut sugar and i was out of walnuts so i chopped almonds, and coconut oil…..it is FABULOUS! i will go to this recipe each time i want a banana nut bread, ty for sharing Ben

      • Haha! That’s no problem! I figured you meant it for the banana bread recipe.
        I’m glad you are liking the bread so much! I like your spin on it. I will have to try it out!
        Thanks,

        Ben

  2. I like your presentation, Ben! How would you suggest plating/presenting with pasta? I think I’ll make this tomorrow – I’m craving good meatballs!

    • Haha! Thanks! I like to mix the sauce and pasta together first. Then, I use a trick that the head chef of the Argihotel taught me: using a large grilling fork, twirl the pasta in a ladle until a spectacular spaghetti nest forms. Lay the nest down on the plate, and then spoon some sauce and the meatballs on top.
      Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes!
      -Ben

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