Authentic Mondeghili Meatballs Recipe

Authentic Mondeghili Meatballs Recipe

By Silvia Costantino

Do you remember that time in Milan when you tasted some nice meatballs with a very peculiar flavor? Or, have you ever tasted something like that?

It doesn’t have to be meatballs, either. It could have been something so tasty you couldn’t stop eating them… No? Nothing comes to mind? So, you’re telling me you know nothing about Mondeghili?

Ok! First, go try some Mondeghili meatballs on our Food Tours in Milan.

Second, you can learn how to make them!

Mondeghili (Milanese meatballs) are from the peasant tradition. They are so good and so traditional that in 2008, Mondeghili were officially recognized from Comune di Milano as a “dish of the territory,” which, despite its lousy name, is a very high distinction.

Remember, do not just call them “polpette” (meatballs)! Milanese will not like it, even if the two plates do share the origin of the name. “Polpette” comes straight from the Arab “al­bunduk.”

“Mondeghili” comes from Spanish tradition. The Spanish, during their 150-year dominion, taught the Milanese how to make “albondigas,” or “albondeguitos.” The Milanese transformed this name into “Mondeghili.”

The name marks a difference, but so does the taste and, indeed, the recipe. The flavor is quite strong, which is typical for traditional peasant dishes, which were invented to reuse leftovers.

What makes it so flavorful? Let’s check it out with this Mondeghili recipe.

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Ingredients for 4

10.5 oz. of boiled meat (usually beef or calf, or a mix of the two)

1 egg

The soft inside of the bread of a “rosetta” (the traditional Milanese bread)

1 cup of milk

Chopped parsley

Chopped lemon peel (remember ­ peel it thin



9 oz. of butter



Optional ingredients

Minced bologna

Minced onion or garlic

Pork sausages

Grana cheese



Dip the bread into the milk, then squeeze it, and sift it in flakes.

Mix the wet bread with all the other ingredients until you have solid dough.

Make as many small balls as you can. They should be the size of a nutshell. Press them softly – they are not to be flat nor perfectly round.

Prepare a large pan or a saucepan and melt the butter. Leave it warming while you roll the Mondeghili in breadcrumbs.

And now, fry them in the hot butter!

Before serving, you might want to remove a bit of butter with some paper towel. Now you can enjoy your perfectly typical Milanese dinner!

You can learn more about authentic Italian food on our tours in Italy! Fat Tire Tours has tours in Milan, Florence, and Rome – we would love for you to join!

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