Because these traditional meatballs – polpette – are bite size, they complement the tagliatelle well and don’t overpower the dish. There are a few steps involved but the process is easy, and the result is well worth the extra effort. 


1 lb tagliatelle
¾ lb ground beef (2x ground if possible)

26 oz tomato purée
3 ½ tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
I small bunch parsley, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ onion, coarsely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
Olive oil

In a medium sized bowl, crumble the meat with a fork or your hands. Add the milk, grated cheese, minced parsley and a sprinkling of salt. Use the fork to combine the ingredients until they’re fully integrated. Slowly add the breadcrumbs, little by little. You may want to use your hands to make sure the mixture is well blended. 

Shape the mixture into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. 

In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onions over a low to medium heat. Add the meatballs, turning frequently until they are just browned on all sides. Add a half a glass of wine to the pan and allow it to evaporate. After a few minutes, add the tomato sauce and half a glass of water, stirring until combined. Allow to cook on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Add salt as needed. 

Cook the tagliatelle according to package instructions in a large, salted pot of boiling water. Drain and then add to the meatball sauce. Stir and serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan.