Sarette alla Mannaggia, or walnut-crusted veal meatballs with balsamic reduction

By sarahbray
August 16, 2009
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Sarette alla Mannaggia, or walnut-crusted veal meatballs with balsamic reduction

Author Notes: I came up with this recipe when I was studying and living in Italy during college. The name is a nonsensical play on Italian dishes, for which a sense of place is very important (for example alla milanese). Saretta--little Sarah--was my nickname amongst my Italian friends, and here I pluralized it with the feminine -e. Mannaggia is a Roman word, akin to darn it, and it is not only my favorite word but also one I often use in the kitchen. It also locates this dish in Rome, which is where it was conceived.sarahbray

Serves: 4-6

  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good balsamic
  • 2 crisp apples, such as Honeycrisp, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • food processor
  • paring knife
  • 2 frying pans
  1. Grind the walnuts in the food processor. Pour into a shallow dish and mix in a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.
  2. Roll the veal into silver dollar-sized balls. Coat with the walnuts by rolling in the shallow dish. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high flame. Once hot, place the meatballs into the dish. Do not overcrowd.
  4. Brown each side of the meatballs, rotating them until each side achieves a golden brown color.
  5. Remove once cooked and set aside on a dish to cool for a minute or so.
  6. Heat second pan to medium-low. Add balsamic. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes to reduce. Liquid should still be slightly runny, not too syrupy.
  7. Peel and core apples. Slice to about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Set aside
  8. Place meatballs in a shallow dish, four to six per plate. Place apples on top. Drizzle balsamic over the dish and serve.

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