Garden Lifestyle

Mema’s Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausages

This recipe from grandma's kitchen makes enough to feed a crowd.

Photo/Illustration: Scott Phillips


For the sauce:
18 lb. fresh paste tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cored
4 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. fresh oregano
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. allspice
Pinch ground cloves
2 fresh bay leaves

For the meatballs and sausages:
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1/4 lb. ground veal
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. grated hard cheese
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 lb. salt pork
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage links

16 servings

Our grandmother Mema passed on her recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. This classic combination of beef, pork, and veal along with a good amount of seasoning in the meatballs imparts a richness to the simple tomato sauce.

If you have a food processor, quarter the tomatoes and purée them. If not, finely chop the tomatoes and push them through a strainer to remove the seeds and skins. Put the purée in a large saucepan and add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and cook gently, uncovered, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

In the meantime, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, and veal. In a small bowl, moisten the breadcrumbs with the egg and add to the meat mixture. Add the 1/4 cup onion, parsley, cheese, the tablespoon of garlic, salt, and pepper and combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Form the meatballs by scooping up about 3 Tbs. of the mixture and rolling it in the palms of your hands. The meatballs should be a little smaller than golf-ball size. Set them aside.

In a large skillet, fry the salt pork in the olive oil. Add the two diced onions and the teaspoon of garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the sausages and cook until they are browned. Remove the onions, sausages, and salt pork and set aside. Carefully place the meatballs in the skillet and brown. Set them aside until you are ready to add them to the sauce.

When the sauce has cooked for a couple of hours, slice the sausages into 1-inch lengths. Add the sausages, meatballs, and onions to the sauce and continue cooking gently for 1 hour longer. Ladle over cooked spaghetti.

Recipe by David Page and Barbara Shinn
April 2000
from issue #26

View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest