Meatballs with shredded cheese and basil leaves in a small round black pan with a fork on a cutting board.

Cheese & Egg “Meatballs” & Naan on a Skillet

Author Icon Bashir Munye Aug 17 2021
Inspired
Serving Time Icon 1 hr 30 Min
Serves Number Icon Serves 2-4

In this regional Italian dish known as “polpettine cacio e uove”, the cheese and egg fritters or “meatballs” are gently stewed with the summer vibrance of ripe heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs. The light, creamy taste of Ontario-crafted Asiago and ricotta cheese fried with local eggs and breadcrumbs can be enjoyed on its own as a snack.

 

“Two can enjoy this recipe as a meal (9 x 30 g pieces each) or serve it with a naan and side salad for four – that’s four polpettine per person with two extra to fight for! Polpettine can also be added as a garnish in some of your classic soups such as broccoli and Cheddar or cauliflower and Parmesan.” Bashir Munye

Prep 10 - 15 mins

Cook 15 min

Meatball Ingredients

Chef Tip

Bird eye chilis are available in two nearly identical varietiesAfrican bird eye (peri-peri) and the Thai chili. They have a Scoville Heat Scale rating of 50,000-100,000 units – about 10 times hotter than a jalapeño or half as hot as a habanero. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when handling chilis as the capsaicin—the component of the plant that causes its heat—can irritate skin.

Prep 1 hr 20 mins

Cook 2-3 Mins per side

Naan Ingredients

Egg & Cheese "Meatballs"

Step 1

In a bowl, combine Ontario ricotta and asiago cheeses, breadcrumbs, eggs, 2 cloves of garlic and parsley and mix thoroughly. Form the mixture into golf-size balls and set them on a wax paper-lined tray. You should end up with 18, weighing about 30 g (1 oz) apiece. Chill for 30 minutes.


Step 2

In a deep, cast iron skillet, heat 5 cm (2 inches) sunflower oil to 190° C (375° F). Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the cheese balls, in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, turning them as they cook for even browning. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer cheese balls to the paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly.


Step 3

In a skillet or frying pan, add olive oil and onions and cook at a low heat for 1 minute. Add 1 clove garlic and chilies and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, season with salt and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cheese balls, stir gently and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how ripe the tomatoes are).


Step 4

Check for seasonings, then enjoy the polpettine and sauce in shallow bowls, topped with fresh basil and grated Asiago on top. 

Naan on a Skillet

Step 1

In a small bowl, add the sugar, warm water and yeast together. Stir to combine well. The yeast should be activated when it becomes foamy (about 10 minutes).


Step 2

Transfer the flour to a flat surface and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture, yogurt, salt and oil, and knead the dough until the surface becomes smooth and shiny (about 10 minutes). Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place (for example: in the sun or somewhere fairly warm but not on direct heat). The dough should double in size (about 1 hour).


Step 3

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Using a rolling pin, one at a time, roll the dough to into 8-inch circles.


Step 4

Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) over high heat and lightly grease the surface with some oil to avoid the dough sticking to the skillet. Place dough circle on the skillet. When it puffs up and bubbles and burnt spots appear, flip it over and cook the other side. Repeat the same until all are done.


Step 5

Brush the naan with the melted butter, serve warm. 

Chef Tip

Bring mason jars on your outdoor cooking expedition to safely dispose of cooking oils. You can also pre-fry the “polpettine” and naan at home and take them with you!

Bashir Munye's portrait
Written By

Bashir Munye

Culinary Professor, Chef Activist

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