Spaghetti and Meatballs with Ungraded Beef (also known as Veal) and Ricotta

Inspired by Mark McEwan from Food Network


Makes 6 servings


  • 2 lb(s) LM Meat ground ungraded beef (also known as veal)
  • ½ Spanish onion, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • ⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ cup minced Italian parsley
  • ½ bunch chives, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced oregano
  • 1 Tbsp minced thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti for 6
  • 2 batches Classic Marinara with San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 cups basil leaves, torn
  • 4 Tbsp whipped butter
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Classic Marinara with San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium Spanish onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 can (28oz/796ml) San Marzano tomatoes
  • Leaves from 1 bunch basil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Salt


1. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, sweat the onions in 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic, sweat a minute longer, and then cool the mixture in the refrigerator. In a large bowl combine the ungraded beef (also known as veal), ricotta, egg whites, Parmesan, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme, and the cooled onion and garlic; season generously. Work it all together well with your hands for at least 5 minutes. Remove a small portion and fry it in hot oil. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

2. Rinse hands under cold running water and begin forming meatballs of desired size, rinsing hands again as necessary whenever the meat gets sticky. Collect meatballs on a baking sheet. Dust them with flour. Heat one or two large skillets on medium high, heat the remaining oil, and sear the meatballs in batches if necessary, browning them nicely on all sides before setting them aside to drain on paper towels.

3. Cook the spaghetti, reversing some of the cooking water.

4. While the pasta cooks, heat the tomato sauce, then add the meatballs and torn basil. Add the desired amount to the drained pasta. Fold to combine, add a little pasta water to lubricate if needed, and fold in the butter. Serve topped off with extra sauce and Parmesan to taste.

Classic Marinara with San Marzano Tomatoes

1. Sweat the onions in the oil until wilted. Add the garlic and sweat from another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, half the basil (on the stem) and the pepper; cover and simmer for 60 mins. Remove the basil. Pass through a food mill fitted with a medium disc into a clean pot, or use an immersion blender. Return to a simmer and add the remaining basil leaves and salt to taste.