Italian Parsley

Agata says:

You will be delighted with these unusual Sicilian meatballs – they are completely different from the typical Italian version steeped in tomato sauce.
Agata makes them all summer in Sicily, and they are just as good in any season. In Sicily they are grilled over a wood fire, but you can use a gas grill or even a ridged cast iron frying pan and get good results.
I envelop them in fresh lemon leaves plucked off the lemon trees bordering my mother’s house. Since we don’t have that luxury here, we substituted dried bay leaves. They lend the right delicately pine-y note.
These meatballs are usually served as antipasti, but 3 per person would make a nice, light supper accompanied by a delicate salad. Agata suggest mache, watercress, baby spinach and chives bathed in a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and just a touch of honey.

Polpettine al Limone (Sicilian Meatballs)


1 lb. ground Sirloin
1 egg, beaten
2 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmigiano cheese
2 tbs. fresh chopped Italian parsley
Juice of 1 large lemon
Grated rind of 1 large lemon
½ tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
16-20 dried bay leaves
3 Large lemons
½ cup A&V Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pinch dried oregano
chopped fresh parsley


Combine all ingredients except bay leaves in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
Pick up golf-ball sized chunk and roll into a ball, then press down into a small disk. Press one bay leaf into top and another into bottom. Layer on plate and continue until mixture is all used up (there should be 8-10 meatballs). Set aside while heating grill.
Heat grill or cast iron pan over medium heat. Cook patties about 3 minutes on each side.
To finish dish:
Combine juice of 3 large lemons, ½ cup Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, pinch dried oregano and fresh Italian parsley in the bottom of a serving dish. Whisk until ingredients are blended. With bay leaves still in place, lay meatballs in dressing and turn to coat other side. Serve with a little more dressing spooned on top.
Yields 8-10 appetizers or 3 main course servings.