Nonna’s Meatball Recipe

Candoni Kitchen Meatball


Do you know that the Italian word for meatball is polpette or polpettine? In Italy this is a dish that is eaten by itself, accompanied only by red sauce and freshly grated parmesan, while in the United States it is the norm to eat meatballs with pasta and marinara sauce as a dish. Either way you choose to enjoy it, we invite you to try our family meatball recipe-one of our favorite comfort foods!


Growing up, our Nonna (grandmother) would often prepare this delicious dish for us when our family would gather together to enjoy Sunday lunch. This recipe remains a staple in our repertoire of family recipes, and it is also one of our favorite dishes to serve guests when they come over for dinner. If you came to join us for dinner at our house, it is very likely that we would serve you this meatball dish!


We suggest drinking our Candoni Chianti with this dish. This meal is sure to make everyone’s stomach very happy! Mangia mangia!



Time:  about 20 minutes preparation and 40 minutes to cook


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef or Pork (500 grams)
  • ¾ cup Bread Crumbs created with fresh bread (crust removed) (100 grams)
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¼ cup Grated Pecorino cheese(50 grams)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese (50 grams)
  • 4-5 Basil leaves
  • 4 ¼ cups tomatoes sauce (1 liter)
  • 5 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Onion (chopped)


Wine pairing: Candoni Chianti




First, to prepare the meatballs and the sauce, remove the crust of the bread and cut the bread into small squares, which you will then put into a food processor and reduce into small crumbs.


Put the ground meat in a bowl (If you use sausage, remove the outer skin). Then add the finely chopped bread crumbs.


Stir in the parmesan, pecorino cheese, parsley, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix the dough with your hands and let the mixture rest for about an hour in a cool place.


In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large pot put the oil, onion, and finely chopped garlic, and let it stew for about 15 minutes. When the onion becomes transparent, pour the tomato sauce into the pot, add a taste of salt, and bring to a gentle boil.


In the meantime, prepare the meatballs. They will need to be small, about the size of a tablespoon. Form a small ball with the palms of your hands to give it a rounded shape, and proceed in this manner until  you finish all the meat. As soon as the tomato sauce boils, carefully add the meatballs to the sauce, moving the pan to make them settle.


Cook for about 20-30 minutes over low heat, until the sauce has thickened. About 5 minutes before turning off the fire, add the basil leaves.  Once the cooking has ended, turn off the heat and serve the meatballs in the sauce while still hot.


Another great variation that is common in our home consists of frying the meatballs in oil, and then after they have been fried, putting them into the tomato sauce: the choice is up to you!


These meatballs are even better the next day!


Enjoy with our Candoni Chianti!


Buon Appetito!


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