If you've read some of my other recipe writeups here (and you have read them, haven't you?), then you might get the idea I like to cook. Hell, I'd spend more of my time cooking if I had it to spend, but I don't. What I do have, in my partner Tom, is a very appreciative audience. He's always willing to sample the results of my culinary experiments, of which this was one .So I'm always interested in recipes that produce delicious results, but don't take all day in the preparation.

With all that in mind, I give you Polpette with Tomato Coulis!

Now, I know that properly, a coulis is a fruit sauce. However, since the tomato is, by strict definition, a fruit, I think I can safely get away with calling this sauce a coulis. So read through this recipe, assemble your ingredients, and let's get to work!


  • 4 cups (1 L) finely-chopped tomatoes (if you're using canned tomatoes, and you can, use two standard 14½-ounce cans)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) granulated garlic (or chopped fresh, if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) finely-chopped onion
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) finely-chopped carrot
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) baking soda

Place the tomatoes and all other ingredients in a large, shallow saucepan (one that can easily accommodate 4 to 6 meat patties). Stir to mix; the soda will bubble a bit as it neutralizes some, but not all, of the acid of the tomatoes. When the mixture has stopped bubbling, cover and simmer the mixture over a medium heat. Stir from time to time and don't get the heat too hot; tomatoes can stick and burn, and I guarantee you won't like the resulting taste!

While that's simmering, you can get to work on the polpette:


  • 1 pound (450 gm) ground turkey
  • ½ cup (120 ml)breadcrumbs
  • ¼ (1 ml) teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) parsley
  • ½ cup (60 ml) finely-chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) celery salt
  • 1 egg

Wash your hands, and don't skimp on the washing, because you're going to have them in meat. Place the ground turkey in a large bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients, adding the egg last. Use your hands (see, I told you ...) to mix everything together. Again, don't skimp ... everything must be well-mixed, and if the mixture is still a bit sticky, add no more than a fourth-cup of breadcrumbs.

Pinch off pieces of the meat mixture, about the size of a lemon, and form them into nice plump patties (polpette, my Italian grandmother used to call 'em), a bit thicker in the center than the edges. Arrange them in the saucepan with the coulis, spoon some over them, and then re-cover the pan. Let them cook in this way for about twenty minutes; then turn them all over and let them cook for another fifteen or twenty minutes. The polpette are done when you can stick a fork in the middle and meet resistance, and any juices run clear. Once they're finished cooking, remove them to a plate.

Take the coulis off the heat, and pour into a blender or food processor. Process the mixture until it resembles what it really is, a sauce; but we'll continue to call it a coulis. Pour the coulis back into the saucepan and turn the heat up to medium. The objective here is to cook the stuff down until it becomes a very thick, stiff sauce – so thick that you could stand a spoon up in it.

When the coulis reaches that point, turn the heat off. Now, if you've kept the polpette warm, good; if not, a minute or two in a microwave oven will do the trick.

To serve, and we'll assume that when you took up the polpette you arranged them nicely on the plate, spoon the coulis over them in an appealing way. I like to serve this with a side of plain pasta. It's gotten me big compliments from Tom, and for all his willingness to try almost anything I serve, he's still a picky eater!

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