Saturday, November 17, 2012

Polpette di Livia (Livia's Meatballs)

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This is quite the breakaway star having the most request for a recipe from my co-workers when I offered my services to cater for lunch since we were going to have a lunch party in the office. I had no class that day so I had the time to prepare lunch for about 25 people. I presented them with an Italian menu and I'm glad I found most of the ingredients I needed to pull off this ambitious plan. To balance the more involved recipes, I decided to cook one of the simplest dish I could find: Sophia Loren's meatball dish. A favorite of her two sons, this dish is indeed a family recipe. Very simple but also quite rich and very very delicious. With all the excitement of an office party, I failed to take pictures of the dishes I made and considering that this is a new recipe for my blog, I had no choice but to cook it all over again.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The dish involves a two-step process with each step being fairly basic. The meat patties are cooked first until browned on the outside. No need to worry about them being fully cooked since it will be reheated in the second step. The final step and this one is definitely the reason why it is so yummy or arteries-clogging depending on how you see it, is to cook the browned patties in a heavy cream sauce. I did away with the white wine and substituted with just chicken broth but if you have one on hand, I suggest you use it for this dish. 

Polpette di Livia - Adapted*

2 lbs ground pork (beef and turkey will also work)
8 slices of bread
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
salt and pepper
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (or 1/2 cup white wine + 1 cup broth)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a large bowl, douse the bread with the milk until softened. Mash with 
    your hands to break up the larger pieces. 

2. Add the ground meat and season with salt and pepper. Combine well. 

3. In a large plate with about 1/2 cup flour, dredge 2-inch sized meat 
    patties and flatten a little bit. Do the same for the rest of the meat 

4. In a deep pan, heat the oil at medium heat and cook the patties until 
    browned on both sides. Set aside. 

5. In a new deep pan, bring the white wine to a boil if using and add the 
    broth and bring back to a gentle boil over medium low heat. Add the 
    browned meat patties and cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

6. Add the heavy cream and cook for another 2 minutes or until the cream 
    is heated gently. Do not bring to a boil. Serve immediately and garnish 
    with chopped parsley. 
*Loren, Sophia: Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories, GT Publishing, New York: 1998.

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