Agrodolce Meatballs
© John Kernick

Agrodolce Meatballs

  • SERVINGS: 18 meatballs

Even in southern Italy, not every meatball is drenched in tomato sauce. These are cooked in a sweet-and-tart mixture of balsamic vinegar and chicken broth.


  1. 3/4 pound ground sirloin
  2. 3/4 pound ground pork
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  5. 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  6. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  7. 1 tablespoon drained capers
  8. 4 large scallions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  9. Kosher salt
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. All-purpose flour, for dusting
  12. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  13. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  14. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  15. 1 tablespoon sugar
  16. Crusty bread, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine the meats with the eggs, bread crumbs, currants, pine nuts, capers and three-fourths of the scallions. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and knead gently to combine. Roll the mixture into 18 meatballs and dust with flour.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook over moderate heat, turning once or twice, until browned and nearly cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Tilt the skillet and spoon off as much fat as possible.
  3. Add the remaining scallions to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, vinegar and sugar and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup and the meatballs are fully cooked, 8 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.
Make Ahead

The cooked meatballs and sauce can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Smooth, cherry-scented Rioja from Spain.