This is Chef Mario’s famous recipe for Puglia (Apulia) style meatballs, the way his mother used to make them, as he notes in his latest video.
The Recipe: Puglia-Style Meatballs
La Ricetta: Le Polpette Pugliesi
Ingredients (Gli Ingredienti)
1 lb. of chopped meat (80% fat/20% lean)
5 cloves of fresh garlic (Not from the jar! FRESH!)
¼ cup fresh parsley
8 slices of white bread
1 ½ cups of milk
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup of PLAIN breadcrumbs.
3 eggs (Mario recommends brown organic eggs.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup of vegetable oil
Start with the pound of chopped meat in a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup finely-chopped fresh parsley and 5 cloves of finely-chopped fresh garlic. Individually dunk each slice of white bread into 1 ½ cups of milk. (Use a separate bowl or container for the milk.) Squeeze the milk from each slice of bread (back into your milk bowl) and then toss the slice into the chopped-meat mixture. Do this with each slice of bread. Pour the remaining milk into the mix. Add one cup of grated parmesan cheese and one cup of plain breadcrumbs to the mix. Add three eggs. (Make sure you crack them individually first in a separate bowl before adding them in. You don’t want to risk ruining the rest of the mixture should you crack a bad egg directly into it.)
Last, add one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of ground black pepper, and one teaspoon of garlic powder.
Mix thoroughly with your hands.
Pour one cup of vegetable oil into a deep frying pan.
When the oil reaches about 300 degrees, spoon meatballs gently into the pan. Yes, spoon them in, as one might do with raw cookie dough. This is a very soft mixture; the meatballs do not need to be individually rolled.
Fry them to a golden brown and set them out on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.