These tasty little chicken balls are really easy to make and the sauce super quick to cook. They are also delicious cold, nestled in a baguette with some salad and mayonnaise. It’s not the end of the world if you are short of time and can’t chill the polpettine. It just helps to firm the mixture up a bit.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing
- 2 echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 45g (about 3 slices) crustless white bread
- 600g skinless chicken breasts, roughly chopped
- 75g prosciutto ham
- 1 large egg
- For the sauce
- 400g tin cherry tomatoes in sauce (or plum tomatoes)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 x 280g jar roasted peppers, drained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the shallots and garlic over a low to moderate heat for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely. Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes.
- Lift the bread out of the water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Put in a food processor with the cooled shallots, prosciutto ham, egg and a generous pinch or two of salt and ground black pepper. Process in short bursts just enough to mix the ingredients together but not so much that it becomes a smooth paste-you want a bit of texture to the polpettine.
- With slightly damp hands form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls and place in an oiled ovenproof dish. Chill for one hour (see intro).
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Bake the polpettine for about 25-30 minutes until golden. While they are baking make the sauce: put all the sauce ingredients into a pan with 150ml water and some salt and ground black pepper. Slowly bring to the boil then leave to simmer, stirring regularly, for 15-20 minutes until slightly reduced. You can either leave the sauce chunky or blend to a rough purée with a stick blender. Pour the sauce over the polpettine and cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with pasta or rice.