Spaghetti with Veal and Ricotta Meatballs
- 1/2 Spanish onion, minced
- 1 cup (250 mL) olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
- 2 lb (1 kg) ground veal
- 2 cups (500 mL) ricotta cheese
- 3 egg whites
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) minced parsley
- 1/2 bunch chives, minced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced oregano
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Spaghetti for 6
- Basic tomato sauce (recipe below)
- 2 cups (500 mL) basil leaves, torn
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) butter
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste
Basic Tomato Sauce
- 1 medium Spanish onion, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) olive oil
- 2 cans Roma tomatoes
- Leaves from 2 bunches basil
- 1 tsp (4 mL) cracked black pepper
Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe
In a saucepan, sweat the onions and garlic in oil until wilted and translucent – do not brown. Add the tomatoes with their juice, half the basil, and cracked pepper; cover and simmer 90 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with a medium disc and add remaining basil and salt to taste.
- ln a heavy-bottomed skillet, sweat the onions in 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oil until translucent. Add the garlic, sweat a minute longer, and then cool the mixture in the refrigerator. In a large bowl combine the veal, ricotta, egg whites, Parmesan, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme, and the cooled onion and garlic; season generously. Work it all together well with your hands for at least 5 minutes. Remove a small portion and fry it in hot oil. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Rinse hands under cold running water and begin forming meatballs of desired size, rinsing hands again as necessary whenever the meat gets sticky. Collect meatballs on a baking sheet. Dust them with flour. Heat one or two large skillets on medium-high, heat the remaining oil, and sear the meatballs in batches if necessary, browning them nicely on all sides before setting them aside to drain on paper towels.
- Cook the spaghetti, reserving some of the cooking water.
- While the pasta cooks, heat the tomato sauce, then add the meatballs and torn basil. Add the desired amount to the drained pasta. Fold to combine, add a little pasta water to lubricate if needed, and fold in the butter. Serve topped off with extra sauce and Parmesan to taste.