Authentic Italian Spaghetti & Meatballs


Any dish which makes an appearance in two of the greatest movies of all time ought to be taken seriously.

While I settled on a different recipe than those featured in Goodfellas and The Godfather – I hope the boys would approve.

If you usually make meatballs using a jar of prepared sauce, you ‘ll be amazed how much better it tastes when made from scratch with fresh ingredients. The classic combination of tomato and basil makes this a delicious, authentic Italian classic.



Authentic Italian Spaghetti & Meatballs

Serves: 4


1 pound spaghetti


4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground beef
12 ounces ground veal or lamb
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup olive oil (not virgin), for frying

Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 x 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper, to taste
6 basil leaves, chiffonade 



  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients (except the 1 cup frying oil). Mix well and season with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over Medium-High heat. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and fry until lightly browned all over (they will finish cooking in the sauce).
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Tomato Sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over Medium-High heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until soft.
  2. Add the pureed tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, parsley, pepper flakes, salt & pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, add the meatballs, and let simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the fresh basil just before serving.

To Plate:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook al dente.
  2. Drain well into a colander, and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Reserving the meatballs, toss the sauce with the pasta. Top with the meatballs and serve.

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