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Italian Polpetti Soup

Italian Polpetti Soup

with Fusilli and Fresh Pesto

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As far back as 1897, Pellegrino Artusi, author of La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiar Bene, (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), included three recipes for ‘polpetti’. In Tuscany they were a favourite of housewives who frugally made them using scraps of meat and bread to feed their hungry families. We are of course referring to the (not so humble) meatball. Here we’ve jazzed up the recipe with Parmesan and a kick of chilli to tickle your tastebuds.

Allergens:CelerySulphitesMilkCereals containing gluten

Boxes and ingredients are packed in facilities that handles Peanut, Nuts, Sesame, Fish, Crustaceans, Milk, Egg, Mustard, Celery, Soya, Gluten and Sulphites. Due to the conflict in Ukraine, it has been necessary to substitute sunflower oil with rapeseed oil in some products without a label change. The FSA have advised that allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are rare.

Preparation Time25 minutes
Difficulty levelMedium
serving amount
Ingredientsarrow down iconarrow down icon
serving amount

¼ cup(s)

Flat Leaf Parsley

2 unit(s)

Garlic Clove

⅓ cup(s)


1 tbsp

Echalion Shallot

1 unit(s)

Vegetable Stock Pot

(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)

1 tin(s)

Chopped Tomatoes

220 grams

Beef Mince

2 tbsp

Parmesan Cheese


½ tsp

Chilli Flakes

1 cup(s)


(ContainsCereals containing gluten)

1 unit(s)


(ContainsCereals containing gluten)
Nutritional information/ per serving
Nutritional informationarrow down iconarrow down icon
/ per serving
Energy (kJ)2799.096 kJ
Energy (kcal)669 kcal
Fat29.0 g
of which saturates10.0 g
Carbohydrate69 g
of which sugars0.0 g
Protein32 g
Salt0.0 g
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
Utensilsarrow down iconarrow down icon
Large Bowl
Instructionsarrow up iconarrow up icon
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Boil 600ml of water. Very finely chop ¼ cup parsley. Peel and finely dice the garlic. Peel the carrot and chop into small cubes along with the celery.


Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Cook off the shallot, garlic and carrot for 5 mins. Tip: If the ingredients start to brown off, turn the heat down a little.


Add the hot water, the stock pot and the tin of tomatoes. Leave the mixture to gently bubble away while you make the polpetti.


In a bowl mix together ⅔ of the parsley and the beef mince. Mix in 2 tbsp of the grated cheese and chilli flakes (to taste). Mix in ½ a tsp of salt and a few grinds of pepper.


Divide the meat mixture into balls half the size of a 50 pence coin. Roll the balls on your chopping board to get them nice and round. Now add your pasta into the soup and cook for around 8 mins. Tip: Pasta is ready when it is cooked through but has slight firmness left in the middle.


Heat a tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Cook the polpetti in the pan, being careful not to break them. When the polpetti have just browned off, remove them from the pan. Tip: Don’t overcook them as they will dry out.


Turn your oven to 100 degrees to warm up the ciabatta. Slice your ciabatta in half before warming up in the oven. With 5 mins to go until your pasta is cooked add your polpetti into the soup.


Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese and parsley. Use your bread to ‘fare la scarpetta’ (this means ‘do the shoe’ in Italian, AKA mop your plate clean!).