Meatballs with lemon are lighter than my traditional meatballs with red sauce. By making them smaller (about the size of a walnut) they are just the right size to enjoy as Merende (Small Bites), add to a Mediterranean Salad or serve with Lemon Spaghetti. I prepare a double recipe to have on hand because they are so versatile. I have made them with beef, veal or pork as well as a combination of all three meats. Use the meat you like and have in the refrigerator. My favorite is veal or a veal and pork mixture.
- 1 pound ground beef, veal or pork
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 1/3 cups Pecorino cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup flour (to coat meatball)
- Olive oil (for frying)
- 1/2 cup Marsala
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Lemon zest
Using a large bowl and with clean hands, combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, lemon zest, egg (it looks like 2 but it’s only one) and salt and pepper. (I love making meatballs).
Form a small amount of the mixture into oval-shaped meatballs (you could do round, but my grandmother made oval so …)
Roll each meatball in flour until lightly coated.
In a large skillet, warm the olive oil, add meatballs and cook on medium heat until browned on both sides (about 10 minutes).
Add Marsala, cook for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add beef broth, bay leaves and lemon juice, cook a few more minutes until the sauce has reduced and becomes sauce.
Place the polpette in a small dish, spoon a bit of sauce over each and top with lemon zest.