Spaghetti & Meatballs 1950’s Brooklyn Style

(from levinj’s recipe box)

For sauce – Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce works well.

Source: David Rosengarten

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves 6 people

Categories: Meat


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups soft bread cubes (torn or cut from plain slices of white bread with crust)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano (plus extra for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon very finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup very finely minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups tomato sauce warmed
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Beat the egg in large bowl, then blend in the milk. Add the bread cubes, stirring to coat them well. Let sit for 15 minutes.

  2. Using a fork, mash the bread cubes until they’ve formed a rough paste. Add the ground beef to the bowl and, working with your hands, incorporate the rough paste into the beef. add the Pecorino Romano, the garlic, and the parsley, and blend evenly with the meat mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste (you can taste by frying a little bit of the meat mixture.)

  3. Using wet hands, form the meat into balls the size of golf balls, or a little smaller. Place the olive oil in a large heavy saute pan over medium high heat. Add the meatballs to the oil to brown on all sides. Don’t crowd them in the pan; you may have to brown them in batches. As they are finished browning, transfer them to the saucepan that holds the warmed tomato sauce. Bring sauce to gentle simmer, and cook for 45 minutes.

  4. When the meatballs are nearly done, drop the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until spaghetti is al dente. Drain spaghetti in a colander, then return it to the pasta cooking pot. Ladle enough sauce form the saucepan to just coat the pasta; stir well. Add the butter and stir well . Keep the pasta in the pot for a total of about one minute. then divide among six wide shallow bowls. Top each mound of pasta with a few meatballs. then ladle some more sauce over all.

  5. Serve with grated pecorino Romano on the side.

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