Tuscan Hill Town Recipe Close to my Heart
Updated: Feb 11
I watched my grandmother, Angiolina Lorenzi Polidori, make this recipe hundreds of times during my childhood. When you leave out the bread, it's used to fill ravioli, manicotti, cabbage leaves, and zucchini flowers. With bread, it's our Thanksgiving turkey dressing. I’m proud to share this recipe with you and would be honored if you gave it a try:
Plan 3-4 days ahead by buying (1) loaf of good, dense, sour dough bread. (I like Acme). Keep in its bag and set aside. When you’re ready to make the dressing, soak it in chicken broth until soggy and then squeeze out the liquid and break into small bits.
1 bunch scallions, chopped, including much of the greens
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 bulb garlic
3 boxes frozen Swiss chard or spinach. (my grandmother used fresh greens but I’m not sure of the quantity)
1 lb lean ground round or sirloin
½ lb ground Italian sausage
Parmesan, grated (not shredded)
Basil pesto (optional) Can be store bought
Thaw the frozen greens the night before.
Sauté in a little olive oil for 1-2 minutes:
· 2 handfuls of parsley (roughly the whole bunch, more or less, your choice)
· 4-6 chopped cloves of garlic (I use 6-8)
Squeeze out ALL the liquid from the chard/spinach. Roughly chop into small pieces. Add in: onions, parsley and garlic mixture and sauté for a minute or two until the chard/spinach is warmed through. Brown the ground round/sirloin and sausage. Drain any fat.
Mix together all the above, including the bread in a large bowl.
Put a couple of cups of the mixture into a Cuisinart and pulse 3-4 times. Remove and put in another couple of cups to pulse. Repeat until all mixture has been pulsed and back in a large bowl.
Add to the mixture:
· 5 eggs
· 10 T parmesan
· 2 T pesto (optional)
Now you're ready to stuff your turkey. Bake the rest in a covered bowl until heated through.
If stuffing seems too dry before you cook it, add another egg.
If it seems too dry after you cook it, sprinkle a little chicken broth on top.
You can also add more Parmesan and/or garlic depending on your preferences.
The next day, make my all-time, life-long, snack
It’s called “polpette” (roughly translated as “meatballs”).
Take ½ handful of the cooked dressing and roll into the shape of a short, fat hotdog. Then roll it in flour, shake off the excess, and fry in olive oil and butter until the flour makes a slightly brown crust. Enjoy hot or cold.
As my grandmother would say, “Mangia, mangia, a mangiare.”
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