Spaghetti con polpette (spaghetti and meatballs) – Sicilia
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Categories: Kids, Dairy-Free*eliminate cheese and substitute wine or water for milk, Gluten free* use gluten free pasta, Quick and Easy
Spaghetti and meatballs is a favourite amongst children and adults love it as well.
Recipe type: Primo (First course)
Cuisine: Sicilia
Serves: 6 servings
  1. Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and cover with the milk.
  2. Over medium heat, warm a frying pan and add the olive oil to the pan. When warm, fry the fennel seeds, onion, garlic, chilli, pancetta, rosemary and parsley.
  3. Fry until the onion is soft and starting to colour, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine to the onion mixture.
  5. Cook until the wine has nearly all evaporated, about 5 minutes. Leave the mixture to cool and discard the rosemary.
  6. In a large bowl, add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, prosciutto, veal, chicken, sausages, soaked breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice and the cooled onion mixture.
  7. Using your hands rub the mixture between your thumbs and your fingers to really mix the ingredients together, being careful not to over mix. There should be no visible chunks of individual ingredients as the whole thing should be amalgamated.
  8. The meatballs will be steamed so you need to find a container with a rim to hold your sauce which fits inside your steamer or pot fitted with a steamer. Lightly oil the container with olive oil.
  9. Using your hands, roll the meat mixture into walnut sized balls.
  10. Place the meatballs in the short-lipped bowl .
  11. Cover the bowl with cling film. Place the container in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
  12. Bring 7 litres of water with 70 grams of sea salt to a boil.
  13. When ready to use the meatballs, remove the cling film from the bowl. Pour water into a casserole deep enough to hold a steamer and the bowl. The water should not reach the bottom of the bowl. Place the steamer in the casserole.
  14. Place the spaghetti in the boiling water.
  15. Place the bowl on top of the steamer, cover the meatballs with the tomato garlic sauce.
  16. Place the lid on the casserole. Turn the burner onto medium heat until the water begins to turn to steam, 5 to 7 minutes. Steam the meatballs for 10 minutes (add the pasta to the boiling water after the first 5 minutes) and then remove the meatballs from the heat, leaving the lid on and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain your pasta and put into serving bowls and top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at