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Abruzzo Recipe: Pallotte Cacio e Ove (Cheese & Egg balls)

cheese and egg balls recipe
cheese and egg balls recipe

Pallotte Cacio e Ove (Cheese & Egg Balls) were the meatballs of the poor people of Abruzzo. As many ‘Contadini’ (farmers) couldn’t afford to buy and eat meat, they used old cheese, eggs, old bread & tomatoes to make this tasty recipe instead. Let’s see how to make it.




15 min


15/20 min


10 people


For the dough:

  • 2 medium organic eggs (about 70 gr each)
  • 200 gr of Pecorino cheese (you can mix any hard cheese you have in the fridge)
  • 150 gr of stale bread without crust
  • Few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • A drop of (any) milk
  • 2 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive oil.

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1.5 kg of tin plum tomatoes (alternative for quicker result, use passata)
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil

For frying:

1 litre of seed oil (Sunflower or any other)


  • A bowl
  • Cheese grater
  • A non-stick pan
  • Small deep frying pan


Stir fry the chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until tender.

Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20/25 minutes. (if you use the passata 5 minutes will be more than enough, so you can heat it up later in the process once the balls are fried).

In a bowl, start mixing the eggs and milk, then tear off and add the bread into small crumbs and leave it to rest for 20 min. Crush the bread with a fork until smooth, then add the cheese, the chopped parsley, the olive oil and mix well.

You should create a mixture that is still very moist but is firm enough to handle. If necessary add some more bread. Form them into ‘meatballs’ of the same size.

cheese and egg balls authentic recipe

Heat the frying oil to 160 degrees celsius (320 farenight) and fry all the meatballs 3/4 at a time until they get gold.

fried cheese and egg balls italian recipe

Make sure to drain them from the oil, even with the help of absorbing kitchen paper

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Once you fried them all, add them to the tomatoes sauce and stir them for 5/8 minutes: so that the ‘Pallotte’ can absorb some sauce.

cheese and egg balls recipe

This should be the end result, with the tomato sauce slow-cooked.

cheese balls abruzzo recipe

Inside they should be spongy & not wet.



Mamma’s Top Secrets

  • Use different kinds of cheeses
  • Use organic fresh eggs

Don’t forget

  • Drop the balls carefully in the oil
  • Drain them with some kitchen paper
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