Pasta with Meatballs and Mushrooms

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 25 mins

A fresh twist on the American favorite: Spaghetti and meatballs.

Here's Pino Luongo's answer to American spaghetti and meatballs: A delicate dish of fresh pasta with small rounds of veal flavored with mushrooms, sweet peas and mint—and no tomato sauce in sight. Pino suggests a short pasta here, but linguine also works well.


8 ounces ground veal
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Sauce and Spaghetti:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
12 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh sweet peas or thawed tiny frozen peas
1/2 cup vegetable broth
6 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 pounds hot cooked, fresh or dried linguine (1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. To prepare meatballs, place meat in a large bowl; add cheese, egg yolk, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix gently. Roll into grape-sized portions.
  2. Heat 1⁄4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, place meatballs in the pan, without crowding, and sauté until browned and crisp on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until other side is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove meatballs with a spatula and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining meat mixture.
  3. To prepare sauce, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper, and sauté 5 minutes. Add peas, toss, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and mint and cook another 5 minutes. Add meatballs, toss well, cover and keep warm.
  4. Add cooked pasta to sauce. Add butter, cheese, and a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water, and heat over very low heat. Toss thoroughly, drizzling with more olive oil if desired.

Recipe by Pino Luongo. Adapted from Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen (Artisan Books), copyright 2007 by Pino Luongo and Mark Strausman.



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