Polpette in Spicy Tomato Sauce


Beretta, San Francisco A die-hard Sopranos fan, chef Ruggero Gadaldi says that the TV show inspires many of his hearty Italian dishes, including these polpette (meatballs).

Polpette in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Photo: © Wendell T. Webber


  • 1 pound ground veal

  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce

  • Large pinch of crushed red pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, mix the veal with the sausage meat, bread crumbs, milk, garlic, chopped parsley, egg whites, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of pecorino; season with salt and pepper. Roll into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Bake the meatballs on a lightly oiled baking sheet for about 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through.

  2. In a large saucepan, season the tomato sauce with the crushed red pepper. Add the meatballs and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese and serve.

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