Creamy Polenta with Polpette al Sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce)

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Comforting Family Meal 

Cold winter days and dark evenings call for hearty comforting meals. In Italy, creamy and smooth polenta topped with polpette al sugo is one of those meals that warms your soul as well as your  belly. The heart of this dish is the rich sugo, or tomato sauce, that coats the polenta like a warm blanket. We serve it family style on a big platter and gather around a large table taking turns scooping spoonfuls on our individual plates. The taste and smell of the creamy cheesy polenta smothered in the vine ripe tomato sauce and polpette brings me home to Italy around a big table of happy faces. This recipe is more than a meal to feed your family. It is creating traditions to bind family and friends together with a delicious and filling meal. 

Preferred Canned Tomatoes 

For this recipe I use Tuttorosso Tomatoes. This particular brand offers fresh, vine-ripened flavor of summertime tomatoes that I can count on all year around. In this recipe I use Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil to add that vine ripe tomato flavor that is perfectly seasoned with a hint of basil. These tomatoes take my Italian sugo recipe to the next level! Packed by a fourth generation family-owned company dedicated to delivering fresh, great-tasting Italian-inspired products, these tomatoes have a fresh flavor without a canned taste. Your entire family will love the quality you can see and taste in these crushed tomatoes – paired with this polenta recipe it’s a perfect match.

Made with Amore,


meatballs and polenta in serving dish
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Creamy Polenta with Polpette al Sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce)

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Creamy polenta and delicious homemade meatballs. This recipe is more than a meal to feed your family. It is creating traditions to bind family and friends together with a delicious and filling meal.

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale

One recipe of Easy Creamy Polenta

Polpette (meatballs)

  • 1 lb of full fat ground beef
  • 2 slices of stale bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Breadcrumbs for rolling meatballs
  • Extra parmigiano, grated, for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Polenta, cooked according to recipe directions (above)

Sugo (sauce)



Make Sugo:

  1. Pour extra-virgin olive oil into a large frying pan and brown the onion (about 7 minutes on medium heat). Add all canned tomatoes and simmer, 10-15  minutes. Turn off heat and cover with lid.

Make Polpette:

  1. Place bread and milk in large mixing bowl, let sit for 2 min, until soft.
  2. Add egg to bread and milk mixture and mix to combine
  3. Add ground meat, parsley, garlic, parmigiano, salt, pepper. Mix WELL with your hands. If it too wet add some breadcrumbs
  4. Take the beef mixture and gently roll between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Use breadcrumbs to prevent sticking. Set prepared meatballs on cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Plunge your meatballs into pot with the tomato sauce. Turn on heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked in the center. Once finished cooking add the basil and cover with lid. Turn off heat.
  6. Serve meatballs and sauce over the hot polenta. Generously top with parmigiano and serve hot!



Freeze portions of meatballs and sauce in a freezer friendly container and have a healthy meal ready to go! Freeze up to 2 months

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian
Serving meatballs with bowls and hands

A delicious and comforting meal to share with love and tradition

I have memories of making meatballs with my Nonna Laura when I was little and even until her last days. Read the story about this in the post HERE.

Warm and comforting meal that will warm you up from the inside out!

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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  1. Do you add parsley to the meatballs when mixing? It looks like there is parsley in them but I don’t see that listed as an ingredient.

    1. Hi! You can tear it into pieces, or leave it whole. It will soften enough with the milk that it makes it easy mix. You can use your hands, or a fork. I hope you love the recipe! Best, Elena