Any short pasta will work in place of the ditalini; try orzo, pastina or even broken spaghetti.
60 ml(¼ cup) olive oil1onion, finely chopped3 slicessoft sandwich bread60 ml(1/4 cup) milk500 gmminced veal250 gmminced pork2garlic cloves, crushed35 gm(1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve180 gm(1 cup) ditalini, or other short pasta1.2 litresbutcher-quality chicken stock2 cups(1 small bunch) thinly sliced cavolo nero
Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion and stir until tender (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, soak bread in milk until liquid is absorbed (2 minutes), then finely chop, return to bowl and add onion (set pan aside). Combine veal, pork, garlic and parmesan in a separate bowl, then add onion mixture and season well. Knead to combine, then form into golf-ball-sized meatballs.
Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10 minutes), then drain and divide among 4 bowls.
Meanwhile, wipe frying pan clean, add remaining oil and cook the meatballs in batches over high heat, turning occasionally, until golden and just cooked through (6-8 minutes).
Bring chicken stock to the boil, add cavolo nero and meatballs, return to the boil, then serve scattered with extra parmesan to taste.