Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Spaghetti and meatballs
( Spaghetti e polpette )

Traditional Italian-American recipe

Spaghetti and meatballs is a recipe known worldwide as one of the most authentic Italian pasta dishes. Spaghetti and meatballs is actually an "invention" of our Italian emigrants in America. When they finally found the economic well-being they prepared this dish in which assembled meat and pasta together. But do all the Italians really like it?

difficulty: medium

time: 1 h 15 minutes

calories: 577 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) spaghetti alla chitarra
  • 70g (2 1/2 ounces) onion
  • 200g (7 ounces) puréed tomatoes (passata)
  • 1 400g (14 ounces) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 200ml (6 3/4 fluid ounces - 1/2 plus 1/3 cup) dry white wine
  • 200ml (6 3/4 fluid ounces - 1/2 plus 1/3 cup) water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra vitgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • For meatballs
  • 300g (10 1/2 ounces) minced beef
  • 60g (2 ounces) stale bread
  • 70g (2 1/2 ounces) onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 30g (1 ounce) plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
medium difficulty
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 45 minutes
total: 1 h 15 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 577 (kcal) 29 % - 2416 (kJ)
Protein: 31.0 (g) 62 % GDA
Total fat: 15.3 (g) 22 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 84.1 (g) 32 % GDA
Sugars: 11.5 (g) 13 % GDA

Download free PDF version (199 download).

Spaghetti and meatballs How-To

Preparation and cooking

  • - Begin with meatballs.
    Chop stale bread in order to obtain not too thin crumbs.
    Chop onion very finely.
    Put meat, chopped stale bread, onion, parsley, chives and egg in a bowl.
    Season to taste with salt.
    Begin working all ingredients with your hands adding plain breadcrumbs a little at a time.
    You shouldn't use all the plain breadcrumbs.
    Your dough must be soft.
    Form meatballs, the size of your choice, with your wet hands.
    Dip all meatballs into remaining plain breadcrumbs.
    Put 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
    Transfer your meatballs into the pan and let them fry slightly on all sides over a very low heat.
    Remove all meatballs with a skimming ladle.
    Put them on absorbent kitchen paper to absorb their fat in excess.
  • - Prepare spaghetti sauce.
    Chop onion very finely.
    Place it into a pan together with 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and bay leaf.
    Fry slightly onion and bay leaf over a very low heat.
    Pour in puréed and chopped tomatoes.
    Stir and pour in wine and water.
    Season to taste with salt.
    Continue cooking, half-covered, stirring now and then, about 10 minutes.
    At this point add meatballs and aromatic herbs.
    Continue cooking until spaghetti sauce has reached the right consistency for you.
    Look at our photo for more details.
  • - Meanwhile ...
    ... cook spaghetti al dente stage in abundant salt water.
  • - Drain spaghetti very well and transfer them into the pan with pasta sauce.

Just before serving

  • - Let spaghetti flavor in their sauce, stirring well but with delicacy, over a fierce heat, no more than a minute.
  • - Serve in individual dishes.
  • - Accompany with a bowl full of grated Parmesan.
    Every guest will serve himself according to his own taste.



  • - You can prepare meatball saucein advance and cook spaghetti just before serving.

Menu planning

  • - Spaghetti and meatballs is a tasty one-plate meal for your family. Complete your menu with raw vegetables or fruit if you are still hungry.
    If you think to make your friends taste spaghetti and meatballs reduce these portions significantly and complete your menu with assorted appetizer (to be served before spaghetti dish) and light fruit dessert.


What's the right wine for " Spaghetti and meatballs "?

My husband and I generally match a young Chianti to spaghetti and meatballs.