Pino Luongo
Pino Luongo visited "Tonia's Kitchen" today to tell us how he makes his veal meatballs. "Think about veal, which has been seasoned with the Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, lemon zest, little pepper, nutmeg, and then rolled in a small grape size. Quickly pan fried. Then sauteed with onions, peas, and mushrooms. Once they're softened, you put in a little veal or chicken stock. Throw some fresh pasta in it. And when it is all well coated, you can put in the fresh Parmesan cheese."

Fresh Pasta with Meatballs and Mushrooms

  • 8 ounces (228 grams) ground veal
  • 1⁄4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1⁄2 cup (30 grams) bread crumbs
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 12 ounces (342 grams) white button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, and sliced 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (200 grams) fresh sweet peas or thawed tiny frozen peas
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) vegetable stock or vegetable broth made with Knorr powdered bouillon
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds (680 grams) pasta alla chitarra or tagliolini made from Fresh Egg Pasta Dough (page 94)
  • 4 tablespoons (112 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Place the meat in a large bowl, add the Parmigiano, egg yolk, bread crumbs, garlic and parsley, and season well with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly but delicately so as not to compress the meat, which would toughen it.
Take a piece of the meat mixture about the size of a small grape and roll the mixture between the palms of your hands into a small ball. Place on a plate, and repeat with the remaining meat mixture.
Line a large shallow plate with paper towels. Set aside.
Heat 1 cup of the olive oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Place only as many meatballs in the pan as you can without crowding them and panfry until browned and crisp on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes more. Remove the meatballs from the pan with a spatula and place on the prepared plate to drain. Repeat with any remaining meatballs.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes. Add the peas, toss, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and mint and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning. Add the meatballs, toss well, and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
Fill a 10-quart stockpot with 7 quarts (6.6 liters) of water. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and stir it into the sauce. Add the butter, the Parmigiano, and a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, and heat over very low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then toss thoroughly, drizzling with more olive oil if desired.
Wine: A young sparkling Prosecco from the Veneto may seem an unusual selection for meatballs, but because these are made with veal, it’s the perfect choice here.

Serving Size
Serves 6

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