Growing Chefs! Ontario Nonna’s Polpette with Marinara

Nonna’s Polpette with Marinara

There is a certain culinary magic that turns basic ingredients into a symphony of flavors. Each meatball is lovingly crafted. Every bite represents tradition, showcasing the love and skill passed down through generations to perfect this beloved family recipe.”
Serves 4-6


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup onion, finely diced2 garlic cloves, minced2 28-ounce cans San Marzano Italian crushed tomatoes6 leaves fresh basil, torn into small pieces1 sprig of fresh oregano salt to taste black pepper to taste


1 pound ground lean beef1/2 pound ground veal1/2 pound ground pork2 large eggs1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated1 1/2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped1 garlic clove, minced2 cups fine bread crumbs salt to taste black pepper to taste oil as needed
Cutting boardChef’s knifeMeasuring cupsMeasuring spoonsLarge frying panWooden spoonMixing bowls, various sizesBaking sheetCan openerSpatulaRaspTasting spoonsTongsLarge potDishtowel

Get Organized!

Gather your mise en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Finely dice the onion, and mince the garlic for the meatballs, as well as the garlic for the sauce.

Measure out the olive oil for the sauce and open the cans of tomatoes.

Remove the leaves from the stem of the oregano and the basil, and rip or chop them into small pieces.

Measure out the meat for the meatballs, and crack two eggs in with it.

Finely great the pecorino romano with a rasp.

Remove the leaves of the parsley from the stems and finely chop the leaves.

Measure out the breadcrumbs.

Get Cooking!

To make the marinara, add the olive oil for the sauce into the pan and begin to saute the onion over medium low heat. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute until fragrant.

Add all of the tomatoes into the pot along with the crushed tomatoes, basil, and oregano and season with salt to taste. Let simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes until the flavour is well developed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the sauce is simmering, it is time to make the meatballs. Mix together the meats with the two eggs, grated pecorino cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too dry, add up to 1 cup of water until you have a moist meatball mixture. Shape the meatballs into larger than golfball sized balls and place on a baking sheet.

Preheat a large frying pan over medium high heat with a good sized glug of oil to fry the meatballs. Cook them in the skillet until they are browned on all sides, but they are not cooked through. As the meatballs finish, plop them into the marinara to continue to cook the rest of the way through.