La baguette! – Sicilian meatballs


This post is also available in: Bulgarian

At all I am not a meat lover, not only for healthy and sustainable reasons, but because I hardly imagine something really delicious with meat. However, the story with the meatballs which I share with you today is different. I tried them for the first time when I was in Sicily and a pity women had cooked them especially for me. Italians are known for their hostility, where the denial of food is equal of sacrilege. So I had no choice, it was 40 degrees and I had to eat meatballs. After this story I realised that I would cook that meatballs every Sunday, unless when I decide to go vegan for some time.

These days, before writing the post I checked in the web the etymology of word “kufteta” – this is how we call meatballs hire in Bulgaria, but not only.  Actually “kufteta” comes from Turkish and means “ball of meat”. I found out that in many places of the world there are meatballs. In Greece they called them “keftedes” to which add mint. Even so Spanish use the word “albóndigas” which means hazelnut in Arabic which explains their form. In Italy they call them “polpette” because of the “polpa” the  softest part of the beef. So, for sure a lot of cultures have given them an important place in their cuisine, but today I show you a recipe for the most delicious meatballs I had ever taste.

For the minced meat:

– 300 gr. minced beef

– 100 ml. tomato sauce (I recommended to do it at home, if not you can replaced it with tomato paste)

– 50 gr. Parmesan cheese

– 50 gr. breadcrumbs or old bread (read carefully the ingredients of industrial breadcrumbs because they usually contains palm oil and preservatives)

– cinnamon, nutmeg and oregano

For tomato sauce:

– 1 onion

– 700 gr. of tomatoes (it is very important to choose fresh and organic tomatoes)

– 100 gr. peas* in my case they were frozen

– basil, salt and peperoncino (Italian hot peppers)

– Extra virgin olive oil

Mix together  the minced beef with all ingredients. Make small meatballs and put them in a plenty of olive oil pan. Cooked them in a low heat, turning in both sides for a 5 minutes. In a separate pot stew one onion with olive oil and then add chopped tomatoes, peas and spices. Allow to simmer and then add the meatballs. Cook for a while until you see it is ready. Try every time when you cook, it is very important!

Serve with a glass of Sicilian red wine “Nero d’Avola” and fresh pasta which recipe you can find in the next post. Bon appetite!


Savina Nikolova


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