Today’s post is really important for me. As you know, I am all for real Italian food. That’s the very reason why I started this blog. I have always stated that Spaghetti with Meatballs is not a classic Italian dish. And I completely stand by it. That said, my mother used to make meatballs in tomato sauce and we would use the remaining sauce to dress our pasta. Sometimes, we would also add meatballs to our pasta. But, and that’s a big BUT, we would 1. Mash the meatballs to turn the sauce into a sort of Bolognese; 2. Never ever have Spaghetti with it. Pipe Rigate was our first choice, as the mince gets inside the pasta itself and it tastes so much better. To tell you the truth, whenever I see or hear of Spaghetti Meatballs, I never ever think of this pasta, as it tastes and looks so different! So, I thought I should share the recipe for my Pasta with Meatballs with all of you. Try my version and you will see the difference it makes from the Spaghetti Meatballs you are used to. Buon appetito!
Pasta with Meatballs
Pasta with Meatballs - the real deal of what is otherwise known as Spaghetti Meatballs!
- 450 gms – 1 lb. beef mince
- 50 gms – 1.75 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
- 100 gms – 3.5 oz. breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch pepper
Tomato Sauce and Pasta
- 280 gms – 10 oz. tomato concentrate
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp onion choppes
- Salt to taste
- 350 gms – ¾ lb. Pipe Rigate or other short pasta
- Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated, to serve
Tomato Sauce and Pasta
Sauté the chopped onion in the extra virgin olive oil on slow to medium fire until transparent. Make sure not to burn it or it will turn bitter.
Add the tomato concentrate and mix well.
After 1 minute add 1 lt – 4 cups of water, mix and bring to a boil.
Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover and let it cook for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through.
Cook the pasta following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. Drain it and divide among the four serving bowls. Top with the tomato sauce and mix well.
Serve immediately with a generous amount of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.
As I said in the introduction, Spaghetti with meatballs is not a widespread/classic Italian dish. In fact, I have never seen it in Italy. Mash the meatballs and make short pasta, which is much easier to eat with mince.
Notice that the only reason why you see full meatballs in the picture is because I wanted to show there are actually meatballs in the dish! It’s just for aesthetic purposes and I did mash them before eating.