Veal Meatballs in an Emiliana Sauce

by Charlie Calderaro
(Roseville, Ca, USA)

Growing up Italian where we used everything that we grew in our small garden along with some kind of protein.

My Grandmother used to make this as a special treat for Sunday dinners. This was where we got together as a family, talked, shared what we did during the week and had to do during the upcoming week. It was during on of these Sunday dinners that we saw the first man walk on the moon. A special event that we all got to share.


  • 3⁄4 pound ground veal
  • 1⁄4 pound of chopped mortadella
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Place veal, mortadella, garlic, bread crumbs, heavy cream, egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt in a bowl.
  • Gently combine all ingredients until well blended.
  • Separate mixture into 8 pieces and gently form each piece into a large meatball, about 2 inches in diameter.

    Make the Emiliana Sauce.

  • Add the veal meatballs to the sauce.
  • Bring back to a boil, stirring well, continue to simmer for one more hour. The dish should be ready now.
  • Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside, reduce sauce to desired consistency.
  • Serve the meatballs with boiled rice or mashed

    Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

    Polpettine alla Emiliana
    Serves 4

    Emiliana Sauce


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound piece mortadella (Bologna), cut into
  • 1⁄2-inch dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
  • 3⁄4 cup diced onion
  • 3⁄4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 3⁄4 cup cream
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1–2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • In a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the diced mortadella.
  • Sauté, stirring over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, until the mortadella pieces brown.
  • Add the remaining oil, garlic,onion. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring as it cooks.
  • Add the white wine and stir, dislodging brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook until wine is reduced to a glaze, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the Tomato Sauce, cream, and Chicken Stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley.

    Emiliana Sauce
    Polpettine alla Emiliana
    Makes 3 Cups

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