Meatballs in sauce with polenta

In their common Venetian name “polpete a’ la poareta” you can find their humble origins, as they were made of meat left-overs, cold cuts and cheese used to optimize food consumption in times of shortage.
Preparazione: 60 min
Cottura: 25 min
Dosi per: 4 persone


Ground beef, 650 gr
Mortadella or cooked ham, 120 gr
Grated Parmesan, 2 spoons
Egg, 1
Soft part of bread, 2 slices
1 garlic clove, 1
Parsley, q.s.
Nutmeg, q.s.
Onion, 1
Peeled tomatoes or tomato puree, 800 gr
Oil, salt and pepper, q.s.


  • In a bowl, mix the meat, egg, nutmeg, Parmesan, two pinches of salt, bread, cured meats, parsley and garlic.
  • With this mixture, knead 12 small balls.
  • Mince the onion and fry it. Add the tomatoes or tomato puree and salt.
  • When the sauce starts to boil, dip in it the meatballs. After 6-7 minutes, turn them gently.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
  • Serve the meatballs with some polenta. Accompany with a glass of rosé wine.

A really delicious recipe, don't you agree?


The Venetian cuisine encloses the flavors of the sky, the water and the earth. These elements provide indeed all the raw ingredients that guarantee to our cuisine a great variety of specialties. The sea and the rivers offer fish and shellfish; the earth gives us vegetables, the corn used to prepare dishes such as the excellent polenta, and meat; the sky gives us the game. Then there are spices, that give our dishes an extra touch of sophistication. They were imported over the centuries by merchants and emissaries of the Serenissima returning from their travels. As happened to many of the so-called “poor dishes” of traditional Italian cuisine, today meatballs are considered a gourmet dish: prepared with delicious ingredients that satisfy every taste, they are so good that they are always present among the bàcari counters.