Spaghetti with Meatballs

We have received many requests for this recipe, which in many peoples’ minds is synonymous with Italian food. In actuality, this is more of an Italian-American dish, since in Italy they do not serve their meatballs on top of pasta. This recipe comes from Chef Paolo’s wife, Frances, who in my humble opinion makes the best Spaghetti and Meatballs(after all she is my mom).

Serves 4

For the meatballs:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal
3 slices of Italian bread soaked in milk or water then squeezed dry
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of parsley, finely minced
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
2 eggs
Vegetable oil.

For the pasta:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, halved
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 28 oz cans of plum tomatoes with puree, crushed
2 basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of water
1 pound spaghetti

  1. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs, except vegetable oil, in a bowl.
  2. Gently knead the mixture with your hands without squeezing it.
  3. When all the ingredients are evenly combined shape it gently into balls about
  4. 1 1/ 2 to 2 inches in diameter.
  5. In a saute pan large enough to hold all the meatballs in a single layer, heat up enough vegetable oil to come 1/4 inch up the sides.
  6. Add the meatballs and place pan in oven pre-heated to 450 degrees and brown on all sides.
  7. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.
  8. Add garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent.
  9. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt & pepper and water.
  10. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer.
  11. Simmer for 45 minutes then add meatballs.
  12. Continue simmering for another 1/2 hour.
  13. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the spaghetti.
  14. Cook uncovered over high heat until Al dente.
  15. Drain pasta, put back in pot add some of the sauce to the pot and mix it up. Dish out pasta spooning meatballs and remaining sauce over top.