Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
logo twitter   logo facebook   loco pinterest

Surprise meatballs
( Polpette con sorpresa )

Our original home cooking

Surprise meatballs is an original home cooking of ours. They are little and hide a quail egg inside. Serve them warm or cold as finger food or appetizers. Imagine them served with salami slices and bruschettas or crostini ... Another idea for serving surprise meatballs? main dish for your children. Surprise in always attractive ...

difficulty: medium

time: 50 minutes

calories: 215 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 6 quail eggs
  • 250g (8.8 ounces) lean beef, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 60g (2.1 ounces) plain bread crumbs
  • Salt
medium difficulty
preparation: 20 minutes
cooking: about 30 minutes
total: 50 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 215 (kcal) 11 % - 898 (kJ)
Protein: 17.7 (g) 36 % GDA
Total fat: 11.0 (g) 16 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 12.0 (g) 5 % GDA
Sugars: 1.1 (g) 2 % GDA

Download free PDF version (205 download).

Surprise meatballs recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Boil the quail eggs for 4 minutes or according to the instructions in the package.
  • - Put them under the running cold water immediately in order to remove their shell easily.
  • - Halve the eggs.
  • - Put the egg, meat, aromatic herbs, soy sauce and some breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  • - Season to taste with salt and begin amalgamating all the ingredients at first with a spoon and then with your hands.
  • - Add other breadcrumbs if the mixture is too soft.
    It’s difficult to say how much breadcrumbs is necessary because it depends on many factors.
  • - The mixture must be soft but firm.
  • - At this point prepare the meatballs.
  • - Put some mixture on the socket of your hand and half an egg in its centre.
  • - Envelop the egg with the meat.
  • - Dip the meatballs into some breadcrumbs.
  • - Pour the olive oil into a frying pan.
  • - Let the meatballs fry lightly on a medium heat on every side.
    Be careful: don’t break them!
  • - At this point pour in the wine, lower the flame and continue cooking, half-covered, until the cooking juice is well retired.
  • - Brown the meatballs and switch off the gas.

Just before serving

  • - Your dish is ready if you serve surprise meatballs hot.
  • - These meatballs are tasty cold too!



  • - You can serve surprise meatballs hot, lukewarm or cold.
  • - You can prepare the meatballs the day before.
  • - If you want, you can add 1 tablespoons grated Parmesan and 1 little onion (chopped) to the mixture .

Menu planning

  • - Surprise meatballs can be served as delicious finger food in a buffet for all seasons or your happy hour. In this case skewer each meatball on a toothpick. For a better visual effect lie your meatballs on a bed of seasonal salad as you can see in the photo.
    Another menu idea: prepare these meatballs as morsels for an assorted antipasto, Italian-style.
    If combined with other finger food or tidbits the doses for these meatballs are sufficient for more than 4 people. Finally, these meatballs, rather small, may also be a main dish especially if you have kids. The idea of surprise is always inviting!

Healthy eating

  • - The calories and fat of these small meatballs seem low but keep in mind that in reality they are prepared with only 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of meat for 4 people. So if you choose them as main dish you have to plan your menu in this way: open your dinner with minestrone or other vegetable soup and, if you are still hungry, serve a salad or raw vegetables in season to accompany your meatballs.
    Remember: protein shoul be served at dinner.
  • - Special occasion menu. As we've just written you can also choose surprise meatballs for a buffet menu. Don't worry about fat, calories, sugars ... it happens rarely, doesn't it?


What's the right wine for " Surprise meatballs "?

Our suggestion is Dolcetto di Dogliani (Italian red wine of Piedmont - Italy). Read more details on the wine card dedicated to Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore. We like pairing surprise meatballs with another wine: Merlot Lison Pramaggiore (near Venetia). We like particularly the Merlot producted by the firm Le Carline.