Or as known in my birthplace "Pallotte Cace e Ove". This is a typical dish which flavors bring me back to my childhood in Casalbordino, (Abruzzo): A time when meat was scarce and only seasonal products were used. A time when dishes were marked by the rhythm of the season and modified only by the arrival of Sundays and religious holidays.
Eggs, cheese and day-old bread are mixed together, shaped into balls and fried, then simmered in sugo semplice (meatless tomato sauce).
Sauce or Sugo semplice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 lb. ripe tomatoes finally chopped (alternate 2 cans good San Marzano canned tomatoes)
Sprigs of parsley and basil
Hot pepper (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Heat the oil in saucepan over moderate heat, add the onion and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
Ingredients for Pallotte:
- 2 cups of mixed grated cheeses (my choice Gran Padano, Parmigiano e Pecorino)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of stale, artisan bread, crusts removed and soaked in water and squeezed dried
- 1 or 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- A few sprigs of finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil for frying
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Let the mixture rest for a while.
Use damp hands to form 1 1/2-to-2-inch balls. (I like them oval or egg shaped).
Shallow fry in olive oil until golden brown, turning the balls as needed so they brown evenly.Once all of the pallotte are fried, transfer them to the tomato sauce (sugo semplice) and let them simmer for a good 30 minutes. The pallotte will swell as they cook and resemble sponges.