Polpette al Sugo – Italian Meatballs

I wish I had a magic realism story to tell you about Meatballs and life in the Sardinian countryside, but actually they are all about just-realism. Polpette, AKA meatballs, are probably one of the most common dishes throughout Italy: a dish that speaks about daily life, time spent in the kitchen with your nonna or mamma, crumbling dry bread with your hands. Also, meatballs are probably one of the first recipes one learns to cook, because it’s fun. I can tell you a story of dirty hands, trying to reproduce a perfect sphere of meat, and the only magic here is that my mother never fried the balls before putting them in the tomato sauce, but they never – well, almost never – broke.

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Lion_Head_Pork_Meatballs

Giant “Lion Head” Meatballs (Shi Zi Tou)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! Time to bring out the mooncakes and watch the full harvest moon – as we say, may the flowers be beautiful and the moon be round. This week’s Chinese recipe is also round! These pork meatballs are roughly the size of tennis balls, and are called lion heads or sixi (lucky four) meatballs, as you’d usually make four.

If you’d like a further touch of the autumn, you can also add a few chopped water chestnuts to the mix. The most important thing is to use minced pork belly and not a leaner mince, as it really makes a difference to how light and tender the meatballs turn out in the end. Continue reading “Giant “Lion Head” Meatballs (Shi Zi Tou)”