Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 Lb ( 450 g) beef and veal ground (alternatively, only beef ground)
  • 1/2 Lb ( 230 g) fresh spinach (alternatively, frozen spinach)
  • 1 Lb (450 g) tomato pulp
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 oz (70 g) Tuscan bread
  • 2 oz (55 g) ricotta cheese
  • 2oz (55 g) Tuscan pecorino, grated
  • 1.5 cups (350 ml) milk
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Qt (1 liter) vegetable oil (best if sesame oil)
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • to taste black pepper
  • to taste table salt
  1. FIRST STEPSFirst of all, chop the Tuscan bread, pour it into a bowl, and soak with milk until totally soften.Now, rinse the fresh spinach thoroughly, and boil or steam them 5 minutes.After that, rinse the spinach with cold water, squeeze accurately, and mince.Finally, store the spinach in a bowl.
  2. STIR-FRY SPINACHPeel and mince the shallots. Then, saute them along with 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil until soft and translucent.At this point, add the minced spinach and stir-fry a few of minutes: you want them juicy but not watery.
  3. TUSCAN MEATBALL MIXTURENow, squeeze the bread accurately and pour it into a big bowl along with the stir-fried spinach.After that, add the grated Tuscan Pecorino, the ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, the ground meat, 1 pinch of nutmeg, and a generous sprinkle of black pepper.Salt to taste and knead the mixture until all the ingredients are well mixed.Finally, wrap and store in the fridge at least 1 hour up to 1 day.
  4. TOMATOES SAUCENow, prepare the tomato sauce.First, peel and crush the garlic. Then, pour the garlic in a saucepan along with 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. Saute the garlic over medium heat until pale golden, then add the tomato pulp.Cook gently 30 minutes, and eventually salt to taste.
  5. SHAPING AND FRYING "POLPETTE"!At this point, take the mixture from the fridge and shape it into "polpette" (that means meatballs in Italian) from 1oz to 3 oz, depending on your taste: I like them a little bigger than a ping-pong ball! Eventually, flour the "polpette" and shake them very gently to discard the flour in excess.After that, pour the vegetable oil into a deep saucepan and heat until it reaches 340° F (170° C). Deep-fry the meatballs, two or three at a time, a couple of minutes, until pale golden. This step is critical: handle the meatballs with care!Finally, place the fried "polpette" over kitchen towels to drain the oil.
  6. SPINACH MEATBALLS INTO THE SAUCEPour the tomato sauce into a big pan along with 10 hand-broken basil leaves. After that, place the meatballs gently into the sauce and cook over gently flame 1 hour, flipping them every 15 minutes. Finally, rest 20 minutes before serving, or serve warm, or at room temperature.
Recipe by philosokitchen at