- 1 pound ground veal (can substitute pork or beef or combination of all three)
- 1 large egg
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 4 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup, plus extra for garnish
- 4 slices white bread (use stale bread if you have it), crust removed and soaked in 2/3 cup milk, then squeezed in your hands
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the veal, egg, garlic, lemon zest, Parmigiano, parsley, bread chunks, and salt and pepper stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands until just combined.
- In a small frying pan, heat a teaspoon olive oil and fry a small portion of the meatball mix until cooked through. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, according to your taste.
- Prepare a sheet pan with a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Using your hands, mold the meat mixture into small meatballs, polpettine, about the size of golf balls and place on the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up the meatballs.
- In a 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge each meatball through the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Add the meatballs to the hot pan, and cook over a gentle heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.
- Pour the lemon juice over the meatballs when they are cooked, making sure that each meatball absorbs some of the juice and lemon flavor. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Cook’s Note: I like making a little test meatball to be sure they are seasoned correctly. In a small frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil and fry a small portion of the meatball mix until cooked through. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, according to your taste.