Handkerchief Pasta with Pork & Fennel Polpettini

Handkerchief Pasta with Pork & Fennel Polpettini


2 cups Bella Cucina Sugo Arrabbiata
1-6 oz. jar Bella Cucina Piccolo Tomatoes Antipasti
½ pound ground pork
2 Tablespoons Bella Cucina Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon Bella Cucina Citrus & Fennel Salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

In a mixing bowl, add the pork, pesto, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients together until well-combined. Form into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven when done. Add meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta just before ready to assemble the dish.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a simmering boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and heaping Tablespoon of olive oil (to keep sheets from sticking together). Cut the pasta sheets into squares or rectangles (approx. 4 X4 or 4 X6 inches). Add the pasta sheets one at a time and cook just until al dente, fresh pasta generally takes about 3-4 minutes. Test one corner of a sheet for doneness. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving some of the pasta water.

To assemble the pasta, place a heaping Tablespoon of the pasta sauce on the plate. Place a sheet of the cooked pasta, spoon sauce over the pasta sheet, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat until you have four layers of pasta sheets. To garnish, place 3-4 polpettini meatballs and a few of the Piccolo tomatoes on the plate around the pasta. Drizzle around the pasta with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6-8 as a first course.


I like the delicate texture of the pasta next to the rustic polpettini meatballs, but plenty of variations are quite nice and delicious.

1. Add thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, or a couple of teaspoons fresh ricotta or goat cheese between 1-2 layers of pasta sheets for added flavor .

2. Use roasted eggplant or zucchini slices in addition to the pasta for a heartier dish, or in place of the pasta for a gluten free version.

3. Use rendered sliced bacon pieces in place of the pork polpettini. Place large chunks of cooked bacon on the pasta as a protein or, scatter small bits on top of the pasta as a garnish.

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