Italian 2 Course Meal

Written on July 10th, 2024

Polpette Meatballs & Pistachio Cake Recipes

Enjoy a taste of Italy with our incredible Italian 2 course meal planner, perfect for an evening for two!

‘Polpette Caponata’ Pork and Beef Meatballs with Italian Slow Cooked Vegetables

For The Meatballs:
1 slice of stale white bread
2tbsp milk
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
1tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp crushed black pepper
1tbsp parmesan, grated
1 egg
25ml olive oil
For The Caponata:
2 shallots, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml olive oil
25ml red wine vinegar
1 aubergine, diced
1 courgette, diced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1tsp capers
8 basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
1tbsp parmesan, grated


  1. To make the meatballs, soak the bread in a bowl with the milk
  2. Add the minced pork, beef, oregano, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, parmesan and egg to the bowl.
  3. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
  4. Place a little oil on your hands and form small meatballs and place onto a large plate.
  5. To make the caponata, gently fry the shallots, celery and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  6. Add the red wine vinegar to the pan and reduce for 2 minutes over a low heat.
  7. Add the diced aubergine, courgette and cherry tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  8. In a separate frying pan, shallow fry the meatballs in olive oil for 2-3 minutes each side until golden then add all of the caponata mix to the meatballs.
  9. Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes and then add the capers and basil then season to taste.
  10. Place into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with lots of freshly grated parmesan.

Chef’s Tip:
Use up any leftover meatballs and caponata for a great Italian style sub sandwich. Cut a piece of Booths French bread in half and fill with sliced  meatballs and caponata. Add some grated mozzarella and bake in a hot oven at 200°c / 180°c fan /392°F/ Gas Mark 5 for 8 minutes until the filling is hot.

Pistachio Polenta Cake with Limoncello Mascarpone Cream

For The Cake
200g butter + 25g for greasing
150g caster sugar
2 lemons, juice and zest
200g pistachio nuts
200g polenta
4 eggs
For The Glaze:
25g honey
50ml Limoncello
1 lemon, zest only
For The Limoncello Mascarpone:
200g mascarpone
50g icing sugar
50ml Limoncello
To Garnish:
50g chopped pistachios


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/ 160°c Fan /356°F/ Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lightly grease a 20cm spring base cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the butter, sugar, lemon juice and zest until light and fluffy.
  4. Blitz the pistachio nuts in a food processor until they reach a sand like texture and add to the polenta flour.
  5. Beat the eggs one by one into the butter and sugar mix then carefully fold in the polenta and pistachio mix to form a smooth batter.
  6. Pour into the greased tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Mix together the honey, Limoncello and lemon zest and brush all over the cake.
  8. Garnish with some chopped pistachios and allow to cool.
  9. To make the Limoncello mascarpone, mix together the mascarpone, icing sugar and Limoncello until smooth.
  10. Serve a slice of cake with a generous dollop of Limoncello mascarpone.

Chef’s Tip:
Keep any leftover cake, dice and freeze in a bag. This is perfect for an Italian style trifle with oranges, raspberries, custard and then topped with more Limoncello mascarpone.