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Fish balls recipe

pragmatic recipe
beautiful sardin fish balls in tomato sauce

Polpette di sarde, fish balls

Often served in tomato sauce and eaten as appetizer, they have, though, the potential to cover lunch, even dinner. Some bread to mop up the sauce and you’re in heaven.
  • Prep Time 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time 45 Minutes
  • Total Time 45 Minutes
  • Serves 4 People
  • Calories 400 kcal


  • 1 kilo of sardines, cleaned and 'butterflied'
  • 4 slices of stale bread (about 80 grams)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • parsley
  • mint
  • 50 grams of grated pecorino cheese
  • 20 grams of pine nuts
  • 20 grams of raisins


  1. Cut the crust from the stale bread and soak in milk
  2. Mince the sardines, cutting them up, not using any machinery. Try not to exaggerate and leave some texture to them. You may use a fork to mash them up
  3. Squeeze the bread and add it to the sardines, along with the eggs, cheese, parsley, mint, raisins and pine nuts
  4. Mix and make balls out of them. A good size measure is to unite thumb and middle finger. If the mixture turns out to be soft, add breadcrumbs
  5. Wet your hands before rolling the balls: the mixture won't stick. Use two spoons if you don't want to use your hands
  6. Fry at 180 degrees for about 6 minutes
  7. Drain them on kitchen paper
  8. transfer them in tomato sauce for at least 20 minutes


Balls. Making the balls bigger or smaller is not only going to influence the aspect but also the way people will eat them. Bigger balls must be cut up, which requires a certain conduct and one tends to eat less. Their aspect is slightly disturbing, a bit hurried. Which, after all is true the bigger the balls, the less the work. It is easier to eat smaller polpette.  Smaller balls, polpettine, are eaten with great ease. Finding the right dimension is up to you. The pine nuts and raisin make the dish unmistakably Sicilian.

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