World on a plate: Meatballs

Today is a day to remembers. Today 8 bloggers from around the world get together for the first time to start World on a Plate.

World on a Plate is a monthly blogging event at which bloggers from around the world get together and share a typical recipe from their home country. This month is our first post and we are super excited to get started!

For our first time we decided to interpret Meatballs! We are starting out strong with members from all over the world to interpret meatballs in 8 different ways. Biren is offering a Malaysian meatball, Ewa a Swedish one, Katherine an American one, Hyosun a Korean one, Raymund a Philippine, Sofie a German, Vijitha a Southern Indian and I am offering an Italian one. I hope you will check out what everyone has done and take the time to discover more about World on a Plate!

Check out the Meatballs:

For my meatballs, I decided to make the meatballs I grew up with. This meatballs are not the ones you usually think of when you think about Italian meatballs. There is no tomato sauce and they are not made starting from raw ground beef. They are made from leftover cooked meat and they are by far the most common meatballs in North Italy.

This version of meatballs is made with any kind of meat leftovers, it doesn’t matter whether it is beef, chicken, pork or something more unusual like rabbit. When you are tired of eating the leftover meat, you get your food processor and create these wonderful meatballs.

In the recipe I intentionally give no doses, because this recipe is by nature a bit different every time. It is made with leftovers and you are not supposed to go out and buy stuff to make this recipe. Just open the fridge and use whatever needs using: the meatballs will be great!

World on a plate: Meatballs

World on a plate: Meatballs


  • leftover meat (any meat will do)
  • mortadella or other cured meat
  • grated hard cheese (typically Parmesan)
  • eggs (1 egg will bind about 1 cup of ground meats)
  • breadcrumbs
  • clove garlic (very little garlic will go a very long way)
  • parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil


  1. In a food processor, finely chop the meats with the garlic and the parsley and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the grated cheese and the egg and mix well.
  3. Add enough breadcrumbs to get a non sticky mixture.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Form the mixture into relatively flat meatballs (they should look a bit like falafels).
  6. In a pan warm up about 1/2 inch of oil. When is hot shallow fry the meatballs a bit at a time, paying attention not to overcrowd the pan. Cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. When meatballs are fried, place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
  7. Serve the meatballs hot with a side of greens or peas (or anything else, but for some reason they are typically served with something green).

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49 Responses to World on a plate: Meatballs

  1. Carlo says:

    Looks absolutely delicious, Love the idea “world on a plate”check out my ma’s fantastic and tasty Italian Meatball Recipe !

  2. Chiara says:

    adoro le polpette in qualunque modo siano fatte ma questa tue sono particolarmente gustose e mi segno la ricetta! buona giornata Pola!

    • PolaM says:

      Grazie! queste sono le polpette secondo la ricetta di mia mamma. Il segreto e’ pochissimo aglio e tanto pangrattato!

  3. Pola This is simply a magnificent idea. it is wonderful to think that, at the same time (or almost) there are women in the world who are united by a recipe

  4. I love your meatballs Pola! I looove the idea of adding mortadella (that stuff is amazing).

    Congratulations on the first “World on a plate”. I will be following your travels ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Sean says:

    An interesting recipe. I never thought of using leftover meat for meatballs. I bet it will give you a different flavor each time you make this recipe.

  6. Frank says:

    Meatballs are real comfort food that bring back such sweet memories for me. Interesting the bit of mortadella you addโ€”that’s new to me but it sounds delicious. Will have to try it!

  7. Paola, so happy this is happening and you are doing amazing job as a host! The first one is meatball recipe – how brilliant. It’s something that each country has but maybe call it differently. I love Italian version of course. It’s simple yet very delicious recipe!

  8. What a fantastic idea having meatball dishes from all over the world! A great event! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. sara says:

    Great way to use up leftovers – these look delicious!

  10. What a wonderful idea! I am so looking forward to following this! If you are looking for a token Aussie, feel free to contact me!

  11. Pola thank you so much for starting this wonderful group! I am so happy to be a part of it!! These meatballs look wonderful, and I love that they can be made with leftovers. What a great idea!

    • PolaM says:

      I always thought about meatballs as something to use up leftovers and only through this exchange I realize I’m in the minority!

  12. Mi piace molto la nuova seria – mmm… polpettini! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Simone Woods says:

    I love the idea. Go World on a Plate!

  14. Alida says:

    This really look very tasty. I love meatballs they make a great meal.

  15. Love the idea of Meatballs as the theme and they look so delicious!

  16. Baker Street says:

    Pola: This is a fabulous series with from such talented bloggers dishing out some of their most delicious recipes.

    Love how simple your recipe is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Soni says:

    Love the idea of Meatballs as the theme!There are so many interesting variations all over the world!!Yours look really yummy and perfect as an appetizer :)Great idea to use the leftover meats as well!

  18. Kiri W. says:

    Mmm, these look delicious, especially with parmesan in them!
    I love this new series ๐Ÿ™‚ Great idea!

  19. Gitte says:

    Sounds like a really fun idea. I love reading about different international foods. Love your version of the Italian meatballs.

  20. Raymund says:

    This is the first time I heard of leftover meat used in meatballs, how ingenious!

  21. Hyosun Ro says:

    These golden brown meatballs look absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for organizing the group! You’ve done an outstanding job. I’ve enjoyed all the posts I’ve visited so far and learned a lot. They look all delicious! Now I just have to find time to make them.

    • PolaM says:

      Thanks! It is actually only recently that I learned to make them golden and not burnt on the bottom and white in the middle…

  22. These look great! So nice to meet you in person last week too!

  23. You know, besides the “meat leftovers”, cured meat and cheese, these almost sound like the German version I just posted! Mine are “dry”, too, and I’d imagine yours would be great as a snack, finger food or picnic food as well. LOVE THIS, and thank you SO MUCH for organizing this group!!!

    • PolaM says:

      I also thought they look very similar, and the taste is quite close too especially when frikadellen are eaten cold… I guess Europe is a rather small village after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Firstly, thanks for organizing World on a Plate! It is fun to see the different kinds of meatballs presented. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What a fantastic way to use up leftover meat! I will have to remember to try this the next time we have some excess roast or barbecue meat.

    • PolaM says:

      It is a very convenient way of using up leftover. The taste of the meat really changes so it looks like you are eating a totally new dish. And thank you for participating and enriching the exchange with your great meatballs!

  25. Vijitha says:

    Thanks for organizing such a talented group. I am loving everyone’s version and your looks so good too. I cannt wait to get my hands on these recipes. Yum!

  26. what a great idea! I’ll have to check them all out because yours look wonderful!

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