Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs – featuring Chef Nick Stellino


1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs (see page 230)
2 eggs
2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 pound lean ground beef
2/3 pound ground veal
2/3 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spaghetti and Sauce:
3 quarts water
3 cups Tomato Sauce (see page 222)
1/2 cup Beef Stock (see page 226)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound pasta-spaghetti, rigatoni, ziti or tortiglioni
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

For the Meatballs, mix all the ingredients except the ground meat and the olive oil in a large bowl. Add the ground beef, veal and pork and, with your hands, mix until all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Shape the mixture into oval meatballs, using 2 heaping tablespoons for each ball. This will make 32-34 meatballs.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Brown the meatballs for 2-3 minutes on each side. Don’t crowd the meatballs in the pan when browning, you will need to brown them in serveral batches. Remove the meatballs from the pan and drain on paper towel or brown paper bags. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Set aside.
For the Spaghetti and Sauce, bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Drain the olive oil from the pan above and add the tomato sauce, beef stock, salt and pepper, stirring well. Return the meatballs to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just tender. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Add half the sauce from the meatball pan and toss it with the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl or platter and top with the meatballs and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

Wine Suggestion – Syrah

Serves 6 to 8.


  1. I love Nick Stellino, he’s so real and that he speaks so lovingly about his wife. Going to try the day old bread in milk because the bread crumbs kind of dry up the meatballs. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  2. Tried this recipe-BEST meatballs I’ve ever had. Great thing about Chef Stellino  is he encourages you to make the recipe your own-you like it spicier? Go for it!

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