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Recipe for :

Polpette alla Pratese - Prato style Meatballs

This recipe comes from Carmelita Caruana. Carmelita is just passionate about food, about the scents and flavours of food, about the pleasures of cooking and of eating in convivial company, about the use of the best possible ingredients in order to maximise those pleasures.

She believes everyone can learn to cook. She also believes that to cook well you need first to be greedy, and then you need a little patience and a lot of passion!

She started Cook Italy which organises cooking holidays in Italy in 1999 and though relatively new to the field, she is already having great success, travelling internationally to give talks and to run cooking classes. She appeared as guest chef on BBC 2 's Saturday Kitchen last year, cooking a Sicilian menu, and plans to be running occasional evening cookery classes in London. Her cook book is on the way!


100g veal escalopes
50g pancetta
1 potato
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp walnuts
1 eggs
2 large sprigs of Italian flat leaf parsley,
30g butter
olive oil

Tuscan meat sauce <click here>


  • Soak the raisins in a little hot water if they are very dry.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stalks and chop finely.
  • Chop the walnut kernels into smaller pieces.
  • Scrub the potatoes, then boil, peel and put through the potato ricer
  • Prepare two plates, one containing breadcrumbs the other containing flour.
  • Also beat two of the eggs with a little salt in one bowl and the remaining two in another.
  • Lightly fry the veal escalopes in the butter with a little olive oil then using 2 heavy knives chop finely together with the pancetta
  • In a large bowl, mix together the unsalted beaten eggs, the potatoes, meat, pine nuts, raisins, walnut kernels and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Knead the mixture by hand to make sure everything is well amalgamated, and then form small meatballs, between the size of a walnut and a small egg
  • Roll each meatball in flour first, then breadcrumbs, then the salted beaten egg.
  • Ideally place in the fridge for an hour to adhere better, then fry in very hot olive oil
  • Finally place them in a pan containing warm Tuscan meat sauce and leave to absorb the favours
  • Re-heat very briefly, ideally in a bain marie, just before serving

Serves 4

Carmelita Caruana