Veal meatballs with olives and basil, cavatelli, lemon and parmesan

Recipe by Hugo Saint-Jacques.

Difficulty Level: Easy
Total yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes


  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground veal
  • 1 cup (250ml) stale breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) 2% milk
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, removed
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) chopped parsley


  • 3 cups (750ml) fresh cavatelli
  • Sufficient salt water
  • 1 lemon (to taste only)
  • 1⁄4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 4 chopped basil leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan

Step 1 : Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Then, in a bowl, dip in stale breadcrumbs and leave to swell in milk for 5 minutes.

Step 2 : Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the meat, garlic, basil, olives, thyme, Parmesan and eggs, then season generously with salt and pepper. Then press the crumbs between your fingers to remove as much milk as possible, then add it to the meat mixture. Mix well into balls using an ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons), then string them onto a baking sheet.

Step 3 : In a large skillet, fry the meatballs in canola oil until golden brown. Remove to baking sheet and continue cooking in oven at 350°F (180°C) for 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 4 : Meanwhile, cook fresh pasta according to packet instructions.

Step 5 : In a pan of pasta, add the olive oil, lemon juice and 1⁄2 cup pasta cooking water along with the zest and basil. Add salt and pepper to the cooked pasta and saute well. Garnish with grated Parmesan, then serve in the bottom of bowls.

Step 6 : Add the meatballs to the pasta and garnish with Parmesan and a few basil leaves.

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