Meatballs al sugo della Nonna

I don’t eat meat very much. Not that I am vegetarian, but I simply try to eat as healhty as possible. However sometimes I like to have some good meat or to try some new or some very old meat recipes. Before she retired, my mother was a nurse at a local hospital thus it happened very frequently that she was at work at lunch or dinner time. That is why I had to learn how to cook my own meals. Thankfully, my grandmother was used to come visit pretty often and she taught me many recipes of hers. Some are very simple and some others are pretty complicated. One of the best memories I have of me, cooking with my grandmother, is making “polpette al sugo”. It’s a very simple and quick recipe, perfect for any occasion for a family meal. What you need is just a good butcher to get the best meat and an attitude for gamifying your cooking abilities…


Note: for thise recipe I used Veal but you can do the same with Beef, Pork or Poultry, you will just have to adjust the cooking time as each meat has a different texture.

  • 400 grams of ground veal (or beef, or pork, or poultry)
  • 1 egg
  • 50 grams grated Parigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 50 grams breadcrumbs
  • salt, nutmeg
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 glasses of water


There are 2 steps: making the meatballs and preparing the tomato sauce. Let’s start with the meatballs

Take a medium size bowl, put the raw gound meat in it. Add 1 egg, the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, the breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and some grated nutmeg. Mix altogheter well with your hands until it goes into a perfectly homegeneous compost. Take a small portion of it and roll it with between the palms of your hands to shape a small ball. With the volume of ingredients you should be able to make 13/15 meatballs.

Place them on a plate, cover with a film and let them rest for 30 minutes in the fridge while you prepare the tomato sauce.

Clean the carrot and the celery stick, peel the onion and chop them into very refined pieces. Put them in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and let them gently fry for 2 or 3 minutes, then, add the canned tomato sauce and 2 glasses of water. (don’t worry if you feel it’s too liquid, it will thicken while cooking). Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the sauce to reduce the acidity.

Let the sauce cook for 10/15 minutes at medium fire, then take the meatballs out of the fridge and pour them one by one gently into the sauce. Let cook at low fire for approximately 2 hours, util the tomato sauce takes a thick and dense consistency.

9 thoughts on “Meatballs al sugo della Nonna

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