Perlini (little pearls) mozzarella balls
Meatballs (Polpette Napoletane)
Source: Tyler's Ultimate, Food Network and Cooking Channel - recipe courtesy Baroness Cecilia Bellelli
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, you can use a mix of pork and beef
2 ounces pecorino, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 buffalo mozzarella, drained and chopped into little pieces (I used pearlini , little round tiny pieces of fresh mozzarella in water!)
Unseasoned bread crumbs
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
Tomato sauce, jar or homemade
Put the bread in a small mixing bowl, cover with milk, and leave to soak.
Chop the parsley and garlic together. Put meat into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the milk out of the bread and add to meat. Add parsley and garlic. Use your hands to mix the ingredients. Break eggs into the mixture to bind it. Keep mixing. Add the pecorino. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shape meatballs by hand, make a hole in the top and insert a small piece of mozzarella. Cover it up and pat meatball into shape. Roll them in bread crumbs. Pour olive oil into a frying pan and when it's really hot, fry the meatballs for 5 minutes, or until they have formed a crust. Then turn over. When golden brown and crusty on both sides remove the meatballs from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, cover and simmer on low heat for about an hour or more.