While they serve takeout (for now!), both Osteria Morini and Nicoletta Pizzeria, in Bernardsville, shared the recipes below for an amazing polpettine and for Nicoletta’s pizza dough. 

“Making pizza dough is a labor of love—for such a simple item, there is a surprising amount of error that can happen,” said Bill Dorrler, executive chef and NJ native. “My best tips are to use warm water to activate the yeast, and don’t add the salt until after the yeast is active. If you’re using a pizza stone, place a pan on the rack below to catch any sauce or cheese drips. Other than that, pizza is personal, so make it how you love it. Extra sauce? Sure. Extra cheese? You’re the chef here!”

On the polpettine, Dorrler said, “Meatballs are always hard to make for other people, because everyone has their favorite—their own recipe, their grandma’s, etc. I loved my mom’s meatballs growing up, but after traveling throughout Emilia Romagna, I knew we needed to come up with our version of their traditional mortadella and prosciutto meatballs. They were unlike any meatball I had ever had in the States…don’t tell mom!”

Chef’s notes: If you can’t find prosciutto or mortadella, substitute any combination of veal, pork, and beef. It won’t be the same, but it will be delicious.

If you want to make extra, polpettine can be frozen raw. After rolling into balls, place on a tray and freeze in a single layer. When it’s completely frozen, store in a freezer bag until needed. When ready to eat, sear in the pan straight from frozen, and cook in the sauce for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Pizza dough can be frozen as well, but it’s preferable to just keep in the fridge for a few days if you don’t need it right away. Just bring it up to room temperature before stretching the dough.

Wine pairing suggestion: Altamarea Group’s beverage director, Hristo Zisovski, recommends any kind of Sangiovese, like Chianti, Brunello, or Vino Nobile.

About Osteria Morini + Nicoletta Pizzeria

Osteria Morini and Nicoletta Pizzeria are part of the Altamarea Group, founded by Ahmass Fakahany and Chef/Owner Michael White. Altamarea owns and operates 17 properties worldwide, including its Michelin-starred flagship Marea (NYC). 

First introduced to Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in 2010, Osteria Morini brings the soulful cuisine and rustic spirit of northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region to Bernardsville. Known as the Italian Breadbasket, Emilia-Romagna is birthplace to many of the flavors and ingredients most commonly associated with Italian cuisine worldwide: prosciutto, mortadella, Parmigiano and balsamic vinegar. Executive Chef (and NJ native) Bill Dorrler oversees kitchen operations, and the wine list was curated by Altamarea Group Beverage Director Hristo Zisovski to include wines native to this part of Italy. Osteria Morini is open daily for dinner.

Nicoletta is the Altamarea Group’s homage to Chef White’s favorite childhood dish: pizza. The menu features hand-tossed, made-to-order classic and specialty pies along with crave-worthy snacks like crispy mozzarella fritters, Neapolitan meatballs, and Calabrese hot wings. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 


Yield: 4 - 6

Morini Polpettine

Morini Polpettine recipe, Jersey Bites


  • 3 slices of white bread, crust removed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 4 oz ground mortadella
  • 4 oz ground prosciutto
  • 1 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 cups tomato sauce
  • Toasted breadcrumbs, optional


  1. Place bread and milk in a small bowl and let soak for 10 minutes. Remove the bread, discard any unabsorbed milk, and tear bread into ¼-inch pieces. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
  2. Add pork, mortadella, prosciutto, parmigiano, and eggs to the bread. Season with nutmeg and salt, plus a few grinds of black pepper. Knead lightly until just incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Form the chilled mixture into golf ball-sized balls, which should be roughly 14 meatballs.
  4. Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and heat until shimmering and almost smoking.
  5. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned, about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through (they will puff up), about 20 minutes.
  7. Serve topped with more parmigiano, and toasted breadcrumbs if using.
Yield: 12 Pizzas

Nicoletta's Pizza Dough

Chef making pizza at Nicoletta


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl and the dough
  • 1 1/3 Cup lukewarm water
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 3 ½ Cup 00 or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt


    1. Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil.
    2. Place water, yeast, and sugar in a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Let rest until the mixture foams, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add 2 ½ cups of the flour and the salt, mixing with a fork until just incorporated. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining cup of flour and 2 Tbsp oil, mixing until incorporated.
    4. Once a sticky dough forms, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it is elastic and no longer tacky.
    5. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Place a damp kitchen towel over the bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1 ½  to 2 hours.
    6. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a smooth ball. Brush each ball with olive oil to keep from getting dry. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 2 days before using.

Osteria Morini
107 Morristown Road
Bernardsville NJ 07924

Nicoletta Pizzeria
107 Morristown Road
Bernardsville NJ 07924