Sicilian-Styled Sweet and Sour Meatballs / Polpette in Agrodolce alla Siciliana

May 17, 2022

Serves 5-6:

  • 750-800 g of minced veal meat
  • 2-3 thick slices of stale bread, soaked in milk for 30 minutes (or a small handful of bread crumbs)
  • 80 g of grated pecorino cheese
  • grated zest from one orange
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins, soaked in some Marsala (otherwise in warm water) for 20-30 minutes
  • a handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
  • a small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • salt 
  • pepper

For frying: 

  • flour for dusting
  • olive oil

For the agrodolce sauce:

  • 80 g of whole almonds, cut into smaller pieces lengthwise
  • 4-5 flat tablespoons of sugar
  • 4-5 flat tablespoon of white wine vinegar

Squeeze in your hands the soaked bread from the excess of milk.

Strain the raisins and Marsala through a small sieve. Keep the Marsala after soaking the raisins  for later.

Put all the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl.

Mix everything thoroughly using your hands, until well combined. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Roll in your hands the mixture into small meatballs, roughly slightly bigger in size than a walnut. 

Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot which will accommodate all the meatballs. Otherwise you can fry them in two batches.

Gently roll all the meatballs in flour and place them neatly in the pot. Fry on a medium heat on both sides until golden in colour.

Mix in a cup, until fully dissolved, the sugar with the vinegar. Pour the mixture over the meatballs along with the Marsala wine.

Give everything a stir, sprinkle the almonds on top, put the lid on and simmer gently on a low heat for about 40 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.