Anne Burrell

Anne Burrell

Chef and Food Network Star

Simply Delicious Polpettini or Yummy Little Meatballs

Chef and star of the hit Food Network show, “Worst Cooks in America,” Anne Burrell, walks you through her recipe for polpettini. That’s Italian for yummy little meatballs.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration. 

Makes 4 servings


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 onions, cut into ½ inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 3 Large eggs 
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Large saute pan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Large bowl


Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook until very soft and very aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic the last minute or two of cooking. Remove from the heat and cool. 

Transfer the onions to a large bowl and add the beef, veal, pork, rosemary, Parmigiano, ¼ cup water, bread crumbs and eggs; season generously with salt. Use your hands to combine everything well – its squishy and fun! The mixture should be pretty loosey-goosey, so add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water if necessary. 

Before cooking all the polpettini, make a 1- to 1-inch tester patty. In a small sauté pan, heat a bit of oil and cook the patty, when it’s cooked enough, taste it to make sure it’s delicious – if it’s not, re-season. When the tester tastes fabulous, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.

Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and bring it to a high heat. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the polpettini until brown on all sides, then add ½ cup of the chicken stock and cook until the stock has reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the polpettini and reserve in a warm spot. Repeat this process until all the polpettini are cooked. Have a ball!!

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