Spaghetti with Veal and Porcini Meatballs - Great Neighborhood Cooks

Spaghetti with Veal and Porcini Meatballs


As you know, Rob & I live in Southwest Florida year-round.  We have lots of friends down here who are seasonal & don’t do much cooking while on their 6 month “vacation.  I love to cook, enjoy entertaining friends.  Eating dinner out isn’t really my thing especially during season. To crowed, to pricey and reservations only available at 5:00 or 9:00.

For some reason SW Florida attracts friendly people from the Mid-West.  We love our neighbors Tom & Mary.  We have a great time together even if we don’t agree politically. (POLITICAL CONVERSATIONS NOT ALLOWED).  We invited them over one evening and I serve this recipe for giant meatballs served in a bowl with Marinara Sauce and lots of grilled dipping bread.  I was amazed that neither of them had ever had veal

Spaghetti with Veal and Porcini Meatballs


8 servings





  • In a small All-Clad skillet, sauté shallots
  • In a large bowl, combine the milk with 1/4 cup of the reserved porcini liquid. Add the bread and let stand until the liquid is absorbed. Add the veal, egg, parsley, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, a scant 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the mushroom mixture and knead gently until evenly combined. 
  • With lightly moistened hands, roll the veal mixture into thirty-two 3-inch meatballs. Set them on a wax paper-lined tray and chill until firm, about 15 minutes. 
  • Heat the pure olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet until shimmering. Dust the meatballs lightly with the flour, shaking off the excess. Add half of the meatballs to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until golden all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a rack set in a baking dish and cook the remaining meatballs; discard the oil. 
  • Combine the remaining 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the onion in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Cook over moderate heat until the onion is softened and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the remaining porcini liquid and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tomatoes and their juices, season with salt, pepper and the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 1 hour.
  • Add the meatballs to the marinara sauce and simmer just until cooked thoroughly, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with a little of the tomato sauce. Spoon the meatballs on top of the pasta, pour the remaining sauce over and serve.  

In a small All-Clad skillet sauté shallots


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