Veal Meatballs with Crispy Sage & Wilted Spinach with Lemon

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veal meatballs with crispy sage and wilted spinach with lemon
  • 4Servings


  • 2 slices good-quality stale white bread, torn or diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground veal
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce or other soft Gorgonzola
  • 1 large clove garlic, pasted or grated
  • A drizzle of EVOO
  • About 1/8 tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 stick (4 tbsp.) butter
  • 16 large sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup veal or chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 pound stemmed spinach
  • Warm crusty rolls or torn ciabatta, for mopping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk. In a medium bowl, combine the ground veal, Gorgonzola, garlic and a drizzle of EVOO. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add bread to the meat mixture. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, then roll into about 20 walnut-size meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a large parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet; roast until browned and just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium. When the butter bubbles, add the sage in a single layer and cook until the leaves are crispy, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the wine and stock to the skillet, increase the heat and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remove the sauce from the heat.

4. Arrange the meatballs on a platter and douse with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Add half the spinach to the skillet and toss with the remaining sauce until spinach begins to wilt. Add the remaining spinach and toss until just wilted, a minute or two. Arrange the wilted spinach on plates and top with the meatballs and crispy sage leaves. Serve with the bread.