Meatballs: everyone loves them

Meatballs are a tipical dish that everyone of us ate, at least once in our lives. The birth of meatballs have taken place around 1400, in the "Libro de Arte Coquinaria" wrote by the Chamberlain of Aquileia's chef at that time.

A few centuries later in Pellegrino Artusi's book "Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating well" ,eatballs made their appearance, which he used to made with leftovers of boiled meat mixed with eggs, Parmesan, bread soaked in milk, salt and a slice of ham.

Today the term "meatballs" are not exclusively used for those tasty meat balls that we all know, but anything that has a rounded shape as "a globe flattened at the poles" as Artusi said. Meatballs could be prepared in many different ways and dressed pretty much with whatever you want. I'm going to propose a recipe today for a very light and healthy meatballs, made with chicken and light saffron flavoured broth, ideal for those cold winter days.


  • 300 g chicken breast, chopped
  • 100 g of cooked ham
  • 5 small spring onions
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 slices of sandwich white bread
  • a generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or spicy paprika (I used the smoked one which is now one of my favorite spices)
  • 1 saffron bag
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 60 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 cubes of chicken or vegetable stock or, if you have time, make it homemade.


Soak the bread with milk in a bowl for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a mixer, blend together chicken breast, ham, onions, pepper, parsley, garlic and paprika. Once you've done it, squeeze all the milk out of the bread and combine it very well with the rest of the mixture. Put it in a bowl into the fridge for at least fifteen minutes by covering it with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, prepare the broth: bring to a boil the water with the chicken stock cubes. Once to a boil, melt inside the water also the saffron powder. If necessary, adjust the broth with salt.

Take out of the fridge the meatballs dough and start to make meatballs, about the size of a small egg. Reduce heat of the broth to simmer and put   the meatballs inside the pan. Cook for at least 15 minutes on medium-low heat.

Enjoy your meal.

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