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Veal and Sage Meatballs and Pasta with Gorgonzola-Walnut Sauce


  • 1 pound gemelli pasta or other short-cut pasta

  • Salt

  • 1 pound ground veal

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 6-8 sage leaves, finely chopped (a couple of tablespoons)

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (a couple of handfuls)

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)

  • Ground black pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling

  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

  • 3-4 cups arugula or baby spinach (1 bunch), cleaned and trimmed


Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Heat water to boil for pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente. Drain.

While pasta is working, place veal in a mixing bowl and add the egg, garlic, sage, breadcrumbs, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste, to the veal. Drizzle a little EVOO into the bowl, then mix and roll veal mixture into small, 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes in hot oven until meat is golden and firm.

Wash your hands after handling the raw meat.

Toast the walnuts and place them into a food processor. Grind the walnuts and reserve.

Melt the butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Whisk flour into butter and cook for one minute, then whisk in wine and reduce by half. Whisk in stock. When it bubbles and begins to reduce, stir in the cream and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer to thicken the sauce a bit, 2-3 minutes, then melt in the Gorgonzola and stir in the ground walnuts. Season the sauce with pepper, to taste, and maybe a pinch of salt.

Shred the greens into thin strips.

Toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve pasta garnished and topped with a generous mound of greens to mix in as you are eating.