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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces russet potato, peeled (about 1/3 large pot)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground veal shoulder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 4 to 6 pieces baguette, split open
  • 1 bay leaf

Make the sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the bay leaf, basil and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 30 to 40 minutes. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, make the meat:

 Put the potato in a small saucepan with cold water to cover; add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Cook until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then coarsely grate the potato with a box grater.

Mix:

Mix the ground veal, parmesan, milk, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon salt with your hands until just combined. Gently form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.

Heat:

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the sauce and simmer 5 minutes.

Finish:

Fill the baguette pieces with the meatballs and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.