Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

March 9 is National Meatball Day, but is ‘meatball’ ever singular? Not for long!

Whether they are called kofte, kibbeh or frikkadeller, meatballs are a much-loved family meal in many world cultures. While it’s believed that the first meatballs originated in China, to many Australians, our meatballs of choice are Italian.

With an open kitchen, pizzeria and pasta bar on display, Lucky Lucianos Italian in The Kitchens, Robina, not only serves delicious pizza from their woodfired oven, but also a range of handmade pasta, regional meat dishes and hand-crafted desserts. The warmth of wood and choice of cosy booths or tables accommodate both couples and extended family groups in the classical dining area.

Chef Toma’s meatballs (polpette) are soft and flavour-filled – some of the best we’ve tasted. This recipe makes about 8-10 portions. The meatballs can be frozen after cooking if set aside in containers and covered with sauce. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator as required.

They won’t last long, so if your last meatball just disappeared, head on down to Lucky Lucianos to enjoy some more.

Chef Toma’s Meatballs Recipe

1.5kg minced beef

0.5kg minced veal

5 eggs

1 finely diced brown onion (approx. 120g)

250gm of shaved Parmesan cheese

1 bunch of chopped parsley

2 tbsp of garlic

½ loaf sourdough bread (crust off)

300ml of milk

2.5 litres of homemade Napoli sauce (or substitute with Mutti Brand pizza sauce)


Place sourdough and milk in a bowl and soak with water for about 2 mins. Strain off excess liquid.

Keep the Napoli sauce aside. Put all other ingredients, including the milk-soaked sourdough, into a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly by hand for approximately 10-15 mins to allow the ingredients to bind together. Roll meatballs into 60g balls or desired size.

Cook the meatballs in a heater deep fryer, or shallow fry until there is a slight browning in colour and a skin is slightly formed. (The middle should still be raw.)

Place browned meatballs into another tray and cover generously with Napoli sauce, with the meatballs fairly well submerged in the sauce.

Place in oven for approximately 40 mins at 160°C, checking every 20 mins. (We cook ours to medium.)

Strain sauce and reduce to desired consistency. Meatballs are ready to serve.

Lucky Lucianos Italian has now CLOSED.

NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 6 March 2018.