Spinach Polpettine

Polpettine are little shallow-fried balls that can be made from vegetables or minced meat. Just-blanched spinach is very good cooked this way.


  • about 450 g/ 1 lb picked spinach
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 60 g/ 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 60 g/ 2 oz breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • a little sunflower oil
  • a little olive oil
  • small knob of butter


Plunge the spinach into lots of rapidly boiling salted water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then refresh in cold water to stop it cooking. Drain and squeeze gently to extract as much moisture as possible. Chop roughly.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk into them the grated Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and nutmeg to taste. Add the chopped spinach and work all together with a fork. Form into walnutsized balls.

Film a large frying pan with equal parts sunflower oil, olive oil and butter to give a depth of 3–5 mm / ⅛–¼ inch. Put over a moderate heat and, when shimmering-hot but not smoking, add the polpettine. Fry in 2 batches, rolling them round to brown them evenly, transferring the finished polpettine to kitchen paper to drain and keeping them warm in a low oven while you fry the second batch.