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Calabrian Meatballs with Raisins - Purpette a Ra Passula

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Though meatballs with raisins might sound somewhat unlikely they are quite traditional. The recipe is Calabrian, and the Italian source I worked from doesn't give measurements, so feel free to adjust quantities to suit your taste.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 1 1/4 pounds (500 g) lean pork, ground
  • Day-old Italian bread, crusts discarded and shredded (I'd figure about a cup, and would
  • soak it in milk then drain it well)
  • Minced parsley (1/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated Pecorino Roman (3/4 cup)
  • Raisins (1/2 cup)
  • Freshly made (or bought) tomato sauce
  • Olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • Salt


Soak the raisins in warm water for a half hour to revive them. Grind the meat and combine it with the bread, eggs, cheese, and parsley, seasoning to taste with salt. Make your meatballs, including a couple of raisins in the heart of each one.

Sauté the meatballs in the olive oil, turning them so they brown on all sides, and when they're done stir in a cup or so of tomato sauce and heat through.

Serve accompanied by broccoli rabe, and a moderately tannic red wine, for example a Ciró Rosso(the normal vintage, not the riserva).

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