Depression Meatballs

by Joanne Calafiore Klimek
(Elmwood Pk Il)

This is a recipe my "Gram" used to make often because we couldn't stop eating them . She said it originated from the "original" depression. Her family consisted of 9 brothers and sisters, Ma and Pa, plus Nonno and Nonna. A little ground meat had to go a loooong way!
A couple of mashed potatoes were added to seasoned ground meat to make it stretch. She would shaped the "pulpetti" as she called them, into oval shaped meat balls and brown them in a little olive oil. Guaranteed for you to want to be back in the "original" depression!


  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground sirloin
  • 3 boiled potatoes (mashed-no butter or milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4 T finely chopped onion
  • 2 T finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • salt,pepper, garlic powder to taste


  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Shape into oval meat balls and brown on all sides in a little olive oil.

    So simple-so delicious....Enjoy!

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