Lemon Meatballs with White Wine reduction

Made by combining Lemon with veal, pork or a combination of the two and finished with a white wine reduction this lighter approach to meatballs is perfect for outdoor dining accompanied by spring or summer vegetables.

As with the pattern of Italian meatballs, dusting the meatballs with flour before cooking becomes the base of a nice sauce.

Lemon Meatballs with a White Wine reduction (Polpette-limone)


For the meatballs

  • 450 g ground veal, pork or combination (See note 1)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 thick slices of dry bread crusty Italian or French bread preferred
  • milk, as neccesary to soak the bread
  • 50 g grated parmesan
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1-3 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped (see note 2)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour, for dusting

For the white wine sauce

  • 175 ml white wine More, if necessary
  • 240 ml Vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot (see note 3)
  • lemon juice, to taste


  • Soak the dried bread in a small bowl covered with just enough milk. Let it absorb for about 5 to 10 minutes. The resting time is more necessary if the crust is used.
  • When the bread is ready, add the meat, egg, cheese, lemon zest and parsley to a medium sized bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Lightly squeeze access milk from the bread and add to the meat mixture. Mix until the ingredients are homogeneously spread. Form into medium size balls about the size of a small peach. The qualities listed should give 12 meatballs.
  • Using a medium saucepan, start the sauce by drizzling olive oil on the bottom and adding the shallots. While the shallots are cooking, roll the meatballs in a plate of flour to lightly coat. Cook shallots until a light golden brown, remove and set aside. 
  • Brown the meatballs completely on all sides 2 to 5 minutes. 
  • Add the shallots back to the pan. Add the white wine to the pan and let evaporate. Add the vegetable stock to the pan, bring to a simmer. Cover and then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When done remove meatballs to serving plate. At this point, if a thicker sauce is needed, simmer uncovered until desired thickness is reached. Taste the sauce to determine if any salt or pepper is needed. Add lemon juice to the sauce.
  • Serve sauce on top of meatballs with chopped parsley.


Note 1: Ground beef may be used. Preferably mixed with pork to lighten the taste.
Note 2:  Parsley is preferred, but fresh Oregano or thyme may be substituted.
Note 3: Instead of shallots green onions or a sweet onion (like Vidalia) may be substituted.


View posts by jz
Analytics professional for 30+ years and avid cook. Passionate about bringing the two interest together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top