Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Serves

    serves 6


Lou Di Palo shared his grandmother's recipe for the meatballs that he sells at his family's store, Di Palo's Fine Foods, in New York City. This recipe first appeared in our December 2011 issue along with the special feature Italian America.


  • 14 cup olive oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 (28-oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1—2 tbsp. sugar
  • 10 oz. ground pork
  • 5 oz. ground beef chuck
  • 5 oz. ground veal
  • 13 cup shredded provolone
  • 13 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 14 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 14 cup finely grated pecorino, plus more for serving
  • 34 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs. lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley, for serving


Step 1

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 3 cloves garlic in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the dried parsley, basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for 60 minutes. Stir in the sugar and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced and thick, about 20 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the remaining garlic, ground pork, chuck, and veal, provolone, ricotta, parmesan, pecorino, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, and pepper. Form into six 2 ½″ meatballs, about 6 oz. each.

Step 3

In a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining oil. Working in batches, add the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the pot of sauce and continue cooking until cooked through, 35–40 minutes. Serve the meatballs and sauce over spaghetti, sprinkled with parsley.

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