Cicoria Selvatica e le Polpettine

Cicoria Selvatica e le Polpettine


  •     2 kilos of cicoria or dandelion greens, cleaned

  •     10 winter tomatoes

  •     1 liter of meat broth or water conserved from boiled cicoria

  •     100 grams of grated pecorino cheese

  •     1 pound ground veal

  •     1 large egg, beaten

  •     ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs

  •     ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated

  •     Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, when it starts to boil, add salt and the cleaned cicoria. Boil for about 5 minutes, until it is tender, but not completely cooked. Drain, but conserve the water that the cicoria was boiled in, you can substitute that for the meat broth, making the dish a little lighter.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Crumble the ground veal into a large bowl, breaking up any clumps with your fingers, and toss to mix them. Pour the beaten eggs over the meat, and scatter the bread crumbs and grated cheese on top. Fold and toss and squeeze the meat through your fingers to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Scoop up about a heaping teaspoon of the mixture and roll it in your palms to form a 1-inch ball. Set it on a tray lined with wax paper or parchment, and form the rest of the mixture into meatballs.

  4. Spread the cicoria in a deep baking dish and evenly place the meatballs and the tomatoes around the dish. Pour the cooking water or broth over everything, but don’t smother it. Sprinkle the grated pecorino over everything and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve in bowls immediately.

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