Easy recipe for Polpettone alla Ligure

Written by on April 23, 2021 in Gastronomy, Recipes

Polpettone baked perfectly with a crispy top

Easy recipe for Polpettone alla Ligure

The origin of Polpettone alla Ligure

The Italian Riviera is awash in some of the finest fish in the Mediterranean. However, this long and narrow land is trapped between the mountains and the sea, which gives several beautiful fresh ingredients for the Ligurian cuisine.

From the slopes we get pine nuts, chestnuts, and mushrooms. Lower down you’ll find basil (and the important DOP Genoese Basil used in the real pesto, will share the recipe for that later), sweet marjoram, sage, rosemary, fennel. And of course, the famous Taggiasca olive trees that make that special Ligurian almost sweat olive oil.


All these lovely green leafy vegetables makes a big part of the Ligurian dishes, like in ravioli, delicious soups and pies. Here we share a recipe of Polpettone alla Ligure, which is a traditional and simple dish, but really yummy.

The name polpettone can be confusing first, as in rest of Italy means “meat balls”.  Polpettone also can mean “mishmash”, which represents the mishmash of any types of vegetables, eggs and cheese in this case.

It is served also as a street food just like focaccia and farinata.  Sliced up, so you can take it with you and eat it on the beach!

Ingredients for Polpettone – serving 6 people

1.2 kg potatoes, 600 g green beans, 4 medium eggs, 100 g Parmesan cheese, 50 g breadcrumbs, fresh marjoram leaves, salt and pepper to taste. For the topping: 50 g breadcrumbs, 50 g Parmesan cheese, some butter.

Main ingredients of Polpettone


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Wash or peel the potatoes and put them in a big pan of cold water. Cook them for 40 minutes or until they are soft. Wash and trip the green beans and cook them in another saucepan for about 25 minutes. It should be tender, but not too soft.

Drain the green beans and cut them up into small pieces (0.5-1 cm).  Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them, put them in a bowl. Add the chopped up green beans to the mashed potatoes. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then add it to the potatoes together with grated Parmesan cheese.

Season it with the fresh marjoram leaves, salt and pepper. Mix it all up.

Take a square tray of 30×23 cm and butter it. Sprinkle the bottom and the side of the tray with the breadcrumbs, so the polpettone will not stick to it. Fold in the mixture and spread it evenly. Drag the tines of a fork in diagonal rows through the surface of the polpettone to form a diamond pattern.

In a separate bowl mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the topping. Sprinkle all over the top of the polpettone. Now it is ready to be baked.

Put it in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. If you have a grill option in you oven, bake it for further 2 min under the grill. It will give a more golden and crispy topping.

Serve it warm or cold. Perfect also as an aperitivo, if you cut it up into small pieces. Once it is cooked you can also freeze it.

Bring Liguria to your home with this easy and delightful recipe!

Seaside town of Liguria with the colourful buildings, rocks and blue sea...

Buon Appetito!

Find the recipe of the fantastic Farinata, also from Liguria!

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