Known for more then just household names like Abba, IKEA, Spotify, Volvo, and H&M, Sweden is a centuries-old kingdom and beloved Nordic country. It is rich in culture, history, industry, and of course gastronomy. By now, everyone has heard of Sweden’s famous food concept like the Smörgåsbord, or lavish buffet and wonderful food products and dishes. A few of the most well-known Swedish food specialties are lingonberry jam, pickled herring, and naturally, Swedish meatballs.
My first and still most memorable experience trying Swedish meatballs was in Sweden.
The year my family and I lived in London, England, we would often venture out to nearby countries during holiday weekends. One particular and unforgettable weekend had us visiting Denmark and East/West Germany (yes, when the wall was still up in Berlin and there were two German nations). In order to travel to East Germany from Denmark, we first had to travel to Sweden via ferry. The nearest place was the charming Swedish coastal city of Malmö.
Not many places I know have come close to the exceptional Swedish meatballs dinning experience I had in Malmö, so I have decided to finally make them myself, and give it my own spin. I promise you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Let’s get cooking!
Swedish Meatballs with Pappardelle & Garlic-Rosemary Bread
- 3 lbs of lean ground beef
- 2 medium sized yellow onion, grated
- 1 cup of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup of milk
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper (1 tablespoon each)
Swedish Cream Sauce (if you want more sauce, double the amount):
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup beef stock
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup of freshly grated Asiago cheese
- 1 (8.8 ounce) package of Pappardelle Egg Pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- One baguette or sourdough bread, cut in 1/4 inch, thin rounds or thin slices
- 1/3 cup extra Virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
- Mix of 1/4 cup of freshly grated Asiago cheese and 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for extra topping when serving)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix ground beef with grated onion, garlic, parsley, and oregano. Add salt and pepper, mix again.
- Add milk, then egg, and slowly add bread crumbs. Mix well. Shape mixture into balls (no more than 2 inches thick)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature needs to reach 160 degrees F).
Swedish cream sauce:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute or until it is lightly browned.
- Add the beef stock and whisk until smooth. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, soy sauce and Dijon mustard and simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add nutmeg and then Asiago cheese. Stir slowly. If the sauce seems too thick, add more beef stock 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with sea salt, and add the pappardelle pasta. Cook for 9 minutes, drain, and return the noodles to the pot (off the heat) with the butter, parsley, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then cover with a lid until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, add olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well.
- On non-stick cookie sheet (or foil-lined baking sheet) arrange bread rounds evenly on sheet. Drizzle oil mixtures evenly on top of every bread round.
- Toast in oven until edges begin to slightly get a golden brown color. Remove from oven.
Serve it up!
This fantastic dish merits to be served family-style, paired with a fruity, spicy red from Willamette Valley, Oregon: Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir.
In a large serving bowl, coat the pasta with the cream sauce, add the meatballs and toss with the pasta, then top off with extra sauce and cheese. Garnish both with a little cheese and extra parsley and serve alongside the garlic bread.
Smaklig måltid! Enjoy your meal!