Polpette di Pelliccia - potato meatballs - from Tuscany are crispy and simply irresistible. Children also love them especially because of the wonderful story of Mr. Pelliccia (fur coat), which is traditionally told during this meal.Jump to Recipe
A round affair
Some recipes for meatballs – based on the Italian fritadella for fried food – can be traced back to the 13th century in Italy. The famous culinary expert, Maestro Martino, the chef of noblemen, bishops and cardinals, referred to them under the name pulpette in his cookbook, Libro de arte coquinaria (1480). Italian meatballs have one thing in common: they are small, have a round shape and are the perfect “leftover meal”. They are usually made from cooked or roasted meat, fish and poultry combined with pulses, vegetables, rice or potatoes.
Meatballs for every taste
Do you like hearty food or do you prefer vegetarian cuisine? There are different meatball recipes so you will definitely find something to your liking. Meat lovers, for example, like the butter-fried Milanese mondeghili: with salsiccia, mortadella, meat, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. In central Italy, meatballs are often neither fried nor deep-fried in oil, but cooked in tomato sauce, which is called in umido. Aubergine and ricotta meatballs from Sicily are also delicious. But only the Tuscan Polpette di Pelliccia made with potatoes and chicken are served with a little story.
The story of Mr. Pelliccia
One day, a stranger moved to a small village in Tuscany. Nothing was known of him except that he went to the market in a fur coat (pelliccia) and bought the most delicious ingredients there every day. And that in times of war! Mr. Pelliccia, as he was called, must have been rich. In his flat, he cooked meatballs, the smell of which lured all the poor children onto the street. But none of them dared to come closer. Until one day a little boy found the courage to enter the house through the open door. Other children followed him. The door of the flat was also open – and there stood Mr. Pelliccia, complaining. “I've been cooking for you for days!” he shouted. “But for your own happiness, you have to play your part too.” Mr. Pelliccia’s meatballs were the best the children had ever tasted. From that day on, they always had a warm place and a warm meal.
Polpette di Pelliccia – Tuscan style potato meatballs
- 5 rather big potatoes, mealy
- 150 g poultry, meat cooked or fried
- 100 ml milk, warm
- ½ old Semmel, a typical Austrian roll
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 5 tbsp Parmesan, grated
- 1 lemon, untreated
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 handful flour
- 1 handful breadcrumbs
- olive oil
- Wash the potatoes in cold water and cook them with the skin until soft. Meanwhile, cut the roll into pieces and soak in milk. Put the meat through a mincer or chop it up very finely. Wash parsley, dab dry and then chop finely. Peel the garlic and crush it carefully.
- Use a toothpick to check if the potatoes are cooked. Drain the soft potatoes, peel them and mash them up with a potato masher. In a bowl, thoroughly mix together the mashed potatoes with the meat, garlic, parsley, Parmesan and the grated lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the roll to remove excess liquid and add to the potato mixture. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and fold them in as well.
- Mix flour and breadcrumbs on a plate. Now roll the potato dough into small balls. Make sure they are covered completely with the flour crumbs and fry them in plenty of olive oil until crispy. Drain on kitchen roll and serve hot. And don't forget to tell the story of Mr. Pelliccia during the meal!