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Pasta with Meatballs

Pasta with Meatballs

Pasta with Meatballs - the real deal of what is otherwise known as Spaghetti Meatballs!

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Manuela Zangara



  • 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
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 350 gms – ¾ lb. Pipe Rigate or other short pasta
  • Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated, to serve



  1. Put the mince, Parmigiano Reggiano, breadcrumbs, egg, nutmeg, 1 tbsp of chopped parsley, 1 tsp of salt and 1 pinch of pepper in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients very well using your hands. Make meatballs of the size of a ping pong balls and keep them aside.

Tomato Sauce and Pasta

  1. 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.
  2. Add the tomato concentrate and mix well.
  3. After 1 minute add 1 lt – 4 cups of water, mix and bring to a boil.
  4. 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.
  5. When ready, mash 4 meatballs per person in the serving bowls.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve immediately with a generous amount of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.

Recipe Notes

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.