Pallotte Cacio e Ove (Cheese & Egg Balls) were the meatballs of the poor people of Abruzzo. As many ‘Contadini’ (farmers) couldn’t afford to buy and eat meat, they used old cheese, eggs, old bread & tomatoes to make this tasty recipe instead. Let’s see how to make it.
For the dough:
- 2 medium organic eggs (about 70 gr each)
- 200 gr of Pecorino cheese (you can mix any hard cheese you have in the fridge)
- 150 gr of stale bread without crust
- Few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- A drop of (any) milk
- 2 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive oil.
For the tomato sauce:
- 1.5 kg of tin plum tomatoes
- 1 onion
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 litre of seed oil (Sunflower or any other)
- A bowl
- Cheese grater
- A non-stick pan
- Small deep frying pan
Start by preparing the tomatoes sauce.
Add the onion, and cook over medium heat until tender.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20/25 minutes.
In a bowl, start mixing the eggs and milk, then tear off and add the bread into small crumbs and leave it to rest for 20 min. Crush the bread with a fork until smooth, then add the cheese, the chopped parsley, the olive oil and mix well.
You should create a mixture that is still very moist but is firm enough to handle. If necessary add some more bread.
Form them into ‘meatballs’ of the same size.
Heat the frying oil to 160 degrees and fry all the meatballs 3/4 at a time until they get gold.
Once you fried them all, add them to the tomatoes sauce and stir them for 5/8 minutes: so that the ‘Pallotte’ can absorb the sauce.
This should be the end result, with the tomato sauce slow-cooked.
Mamma’s Top Secrets
- Use different kinds of cheeses
- Use organic fresh eggs
- Drop the balls carefully in the oil
- Drain them with some kitchen paper