Cacio e Uova Meatless Recipe

Cacio e Uova Meatless Recipe

Looks & tastes like a meatball, except it's not! With just one bite of this cacio e uova meatless recipe, you'll quickly become a fan of "cucina povera".
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cucina povera recipe, pallotte cacio e uova
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 95kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD


  • 3 cups cubed rustic bread crusts removed (approx. 100 grams)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pecorino Romano finely grated (approx. 80 grams)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoons parsley minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour to lightly coat the egg and cheese balls
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil to lightly fry the egg and cheese balls

The tomato sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced finely
  • 1 medium rib of celery diced finely
  • 1 carrot diced finely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Liter passata (tomato puree) 4 cups
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 4-6 basil leaves
  • black pepper to taste
  • extra cheese and basil for garnish


  • In a large wide bowl, soak the bread with the milk. Set aside a few minutes for the milk to be absorbed. (There should not be any extra moisture left behind when you squeeze this mixture together).
  • In a separate, medium sized bowl, beat the eggs.
  • Add the cheese, garlic and parsley.
  • Combine with the soaked breadcrumbs and mix together thoroughly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

The tomato sauce:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the celery and carrots and saute the whole mixture for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaf, tomato puree and sugar. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Add a little water if sauce becomes too thick.
  • Reduce heat to low and add basil leaves.

The assembly:

  • Lightly coat all the cheese and egg balls with 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Add the cheese and egg balls and stir fry until lightly golden.
  • Remove and add to simmering sauce. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with extra grated cheese and basil for garnish.


I will roughly cut the bread in 1/2 -3/4 inch cubes.
There is an idle time of approximately 45 minutes.
Great as an appetizer or a main (with pasta).
Each serving is one 1-inch ball. 
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1055IU | Vitamin C: 7.8mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1.5mg