Make Ahead

Swedish Meatballs in Walnut and Sage Alfredo Sauce

January  1, 2012
2 Ratings
  • Makes 16 about 1 1/2- ounces Meatballs
Author Notes

Here is a recipe for a little lighter version of Swedish Meatballs, were I substitute veal for pork, clarified butter for oil, when sautéing meatballs and milk for cream in the Alfredo sauce, but were the fragrant oil and texture of walnuts and combination of fresh and dried sage are defiantly adding to the flavor of the dish. The portion of the dish is pretty large but leftover meatballs and any side dish you choose to serve it with, makes a delicious casserole for the next day lunch or dinner. —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • For the Swedish Meatballs
  • • 2 slices fresh white bread
  • • 1/4 cup milk
  • • 3 tablespoons pure olive oil, divided
  • • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • • 1 pound chuck, cut in bite-size cubes
  • • 1 pound veal, cut in bite-size cubes
  • • 2 extra large egg yolks
  • • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage or poultry seasoning
  • • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • For the Walnut and sage Alfredo Sauce
  • • 1 pint whole milk
  • • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage leaves
  • • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely grinded
  1. For the Swedish Meatballs
  2. Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl and cover with the milk. Set aside.
  3. Ininto a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic; add ½ teaspoon of salt and cook until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  5. Run the meat cubes, bread and milk mixture, sautéed onion and garlic through a meat grinder to a large bowl. Add egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, dried sage, nutmeg, and onions. Lightly mix until well combined. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs (in two portions) and sauté until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
  1. For the Walnut and sage Alfredo Sauce
  2. Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low flame; add the ground walnuts and toast, stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.
  3. To make Alfredo sauce: Heat milk over low heat in a large deep sauté pan. Add butter and whisk gently to melt. Sprinkle-in cheese, walnuts (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish) and sage; stir to incorporate. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Remove the meatballs from the oven; nest them into the Alfredo sauce and simmer for about 10-15 minutes; shake the pan a few times during the cooking to coat the meatballs and prevent from sticking to the bottom.
  5. Serve hot over wide pasta, Couscous, creamy polenta, Quinoa or any other grains (I cooked 8 oz Pappardelle) al dente and tossed it in melted butter infused with 2 crushed garlic cloves and a few, chopped sage leaves. Sprinkle with the reserved walnuts and more grated cheese. It would be also very delicious just with crusty sourdough bread, which you can deep into the Alfredo sauce.
  6. The meatballs and Alfredo sauce can be prepared a few hours or even 1 day ahead, kept separately in the refrigerator and then cooked together just before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • Kukla

3 Reviews

lapadia March 6, 2013
Yum, Kukla! I love substituting for the lighter veal, and the Alfredo sounds very tasty. I somehow missed it the first time! :)
Kukla March 6, 2013
Thanks Linda!It was chosen for a CP, but didn’t get it.
lapadia March 6, 2013
Oh...sorry about that :( it certainly sounds deserving of it!