Food & dining

Recipe for polpette

Makes about 14 meatballs

One of the most popular cicchetti at La Morra in Brookline, these meat croquettes are popular all over Venice, and every wine bar has a version. Chef and owner Josh Ziskin adds finely chopped prosciutto and porcini to ground beef, which makes the meatballs explode with flavor. The prosciutto adds much of the saltiness you need.

¾cup dried porcini,
soaked in 2 cups warm water for 30 minutes
1pound ground beef
2tablespoons bread crumbs mixed with
1 tablespoon milk
2ounces prosciutto,
finely chopped
½cup freshly grated
Parmesan
2eggs, lightly beaten
½teaspoon salt
½teaspoon black pepper
3tablespoons vegetable oil, or more if needed
½cup flour (for dredging)
1cup white wine, plus more if needed

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

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2. Strain the porcini and squeeze out excess water from the mushrooms. Finely chop the mushrooms and transfer to a bowl. Add the beef, bread crumb mixture, prosciutto, Parmesan, eggs, salt, and pepper.

3. With wet hands, roll the beef into rounds the size of golf balls. Set onto a wax-paper-lined plate.

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4. Heat a large skillet with a heatproof handle over medium heat. Add about 3 tablespoons oil, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

5. In a shallow bowl, roll the meatballs in the flour one at a time. Return to the wax-paper-lined plate.

6. Gently add the meatballs to the oil. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, then gently turn with tongs and cook 2 minutes on the other side.

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7. Add enough wine to make a shallow layer in the pan. Bring to a boil and transfer to the oven. Cook the meatballs for 15 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the oven and let the meatballs rest for a few minutes, Serve with the juices in the pan. Adapted from La Morra

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