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Playing Sunday Spaghetti and Meatballs

You can't get more classic than Rach's Sunday Spaghetti and Meatballs.


For the meatballs:
  • 4 slices stale peasant bread, trimmed of crust and coarsely chopped in processor
  • Milk, to moisten bread
  • 2 pounds beef, pork and veal mix
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 handful Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large egg
For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or veal stock
  • Three 28-ounce cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 10 to 12 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 Parm cheese rind
To serve:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Serves: 8


Preheat oven to 400˚F.

For the meatballs, in a small bowl, soak bread in milk. Squeeze out excess milk and add to meat in large bowl, add remaining ingredients and roll 2 ½-inch balls and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake to partially cook and lightly brown, 15 minutes.

For the sauce, add olive oil to a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add butter and melt. Add onions, garlic and salt, and partially cover. Sweat until very tender, 20 minutes, stirring frequently — lower heat if onions brown.  Add wine and reduce by half; add stock and tomatoes, and break up tomatoes a bit. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat and simmer. Add basil and cheese rind, cook gently 30 minutes to thicken then add meatballs and keep at low simmer while you cook pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.  Add a mug of cooking water to the sauce before draining pasta. Toss pasta with butter and half the sauce.  Serve in shallow bowls and top with more sauce and meatballs. Pass extra cheese at the table.