Italian Meatballs

How to Make Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs are the ultimate comfort food, returning to a special time in your childhood. Furthermore, this recipe was taught to me by my mum and it has been passed down to her from my Nonna so when I make it I feel right at home, no matter where I am in the world. Pork and veal mince along with a couple of my secret weapons, (dried herbs and moist bread!) really bring out the best in flavours and texture with this family favourite.

Watch the Italian Meatballs Video Recipe:


How to Make ITALIAN MEATBALLS Like an Italian | Polpette Recipe

italian meatballs

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Italian Meatballs

Varieties is GOOD

Firstly, if you only have oregano, this will work but it’s even more delicious with a few varieties!

Avoid from sticking

Keep a small bowl of water nearby as in between making each one, you might need to dampen your hands a little to stop anything from sticking to them.

Clear space is BETTER

Lastly, make sure you have cleared the space you are working on in forming the Polpette!  Also, prepare a tray with some baking paper on top.

italian meatball recipe

Italian Meatballs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • Medium size mixing bowl
  • Small bowl for water
  • Hand held blender
  • Baking Paper
  • Flat tray to rest the meatballs on
  • 2 Large, deep non-stick pans
  • wooden spoon
  • Chopping-board
  • Sharp thick knife


  • 500 grams Pork & veal mince 1.1 pound - 17oz
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • ½ Carrot Peeled and sliced in 2
  • ½ Celery stick
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 Eggs preferably free range
  • Fresh parsley chopped
  • Dried herbs sage, marjoram, oregano
  • 2 slices Bread with crust cut off, sliced into medium size pieces
  • Water
  • 4 tbsp Pecorino cheese
  • 4 tbsp Parmigianno cheese
  • Bowl of water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/3 Carrot
  • 1/3 Celery stalk
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • EVOO
  • Passata Freshly made Tomato Puree


  • Add a garlic clove, ½ carrot and ½ celery to the hand blender. Pour in a tablespoon of EVOO and blend.
  • Put a medium size frypan on the stove at a low-medium heat and add a generous drizzle of EVOO.
  • Once the oil starts to warm, add the vegetable puree, tomato passata (or freshly crashed tomatoes) and a sprinkle of salt. Then mix really well making sure all of the ingredients come together really well.
  • Leave the sauce to cook for 1-3hr (depending on how much time you have!). If you slow cook it, it ALWAYS tastes best, adding some basil toward the end so it enhances the flavour but doesn’t overcook!
  • To make these Italian meatballs, put the garlic, carrot and celery into a small hand blender. Mix them together with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and blend until smooth.
  • Place the mince into a mixing bowl and add the vegetable mixture.
  • Add 3 fresh eggs, 3-4 tablespoons of fresh breadcrumbs and a generous amount of freshly chopped parsley.
  • Next, sprinkle dried herbs over the top, to really enhance the flavour of the Italian meatballs.
  • Now dip the slices of bread into the bowl filled with water, a couple at a time, then quickly removing them and squeezing all the water out using your hands.
  • Break up the wet bread into pieces, using both of your hands, adding them to your main mixture as you go.
  • Next up it’s time for the cheese! Add both the pecorino and parmigianno to the bowl and be sure to take the flavour of these Italian meatballs to a whole new level!
  • Add in a tablespoon (or two!) of EVOO along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • It’s now time to mix it all together! Using your hands (or a fork), mix the ingredients together really well, making sure the eggs are mixed well and everything is combined.
  • Do this, until you are able to form a large ball (for this part hands-only are best!) and most of the mixture has been removed from the sides of the bowl.
  • Now to form the Italian meatballs! Make sure you have cleared the space you are working on and prepare a tray with some baking paper on top.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly, keeping them a little bit wet to make it easier to work the mixture.
  • Get a palm full of ingredients (or less, depending on the size you want to make) and roll them into a ball.
  • Make as many meatballs as you can using all of your mixture and try to make them all more or less the same size as this will ensure they all cook through at the same time.
  • Place each of the Italian meatballs on the tray you prepared earlier with the baking paper on it.
  • Once you are ready to cook the meatballs, heat up a generous amount of EVOO in a medium-large frypan (dependent on how many you need to fit in there!)
  • When the oil has started to warm, gently place each meatball down in the pan, leaving it to cook for at least 5 minutes. Then, gently turn each one and leave it to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Leave them to simmer a little longer, then add the tomato sugo you have prepared lathering each Italian meatball so it is completely infused with the flavour of the sauce!
  • Again, each one will need to cook for at least 5 minutes on each side, depending on how large – or small – you make them.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
Keyword Classic Meatballs, homemade meatballs, Italian Comfort Food, Italian Family Recipe, Italian meatballs, meatballs in tomato sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Italian Meatballs

To serve Polpette, place them on a serving platter or arrange them in a shallow dish. You can serve them on their own as an appetizer or as a main dish with pasta, such as spaghetti or penne. Pour a generous amount of marinara sauce or tomato sauce over the meatballs and pasta.

And sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs like basil or parsley on top for added flavour. Alternatively, you can serve meatball subs by placing the meatballs in a crusty Italian roll. Topping them with marinara sauce, and adding melted cheese.

Enjoy the flavorful Italian meatballs and savour the delicious combination of meat, sauce, and pasta.

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One Response to Italian Meatballs

  1. Connie March 6, 2023 at 3:33 AM #

    Looking for meatball recipes

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