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Calabrian Meatballs with Raisins - Purpette a Ra Passula

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


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).

User Reviews

 5 out of 5
Nonna's meatballs!!, Member mtriano

Oh my gosh! I didn't know anyone else did this! My Nonna (her parents were from Rossano, Calabria) would make meatballs and for about a dozen (because not everyone liked them) she'd tuck about 3 - 4 raisins in when she was rolling them. To distinguish which meatballs had raisins, she would make those oblong, and tuck the raisins in a row down the center. She used her usual meatball recipe: 2lb ground veal, 1lb ground pork, 3 eggs, 1/2 fine dry bread crumb, 1/2 grated cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and 2 slices wet old bread (soaked and squeezed dry). She would bake or fry these and they cook slowly in tomato sauce. Ah, the memories...

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