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Spaghetti and Meatballs with 'Nduja | Valentine's Day

Spaghetti and Meatballs with 'Nduja | Valentine's Day


For the Meatballs:

  • 2 cups homemade stale rustic-style white breadcrumbs

  • Milk, to moisten bread (about ¾ cup)

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef, 85%

  • ½ pound ground pork

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 egg

  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful), finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 6 ounces 'nduja

  • ½ cup EACH grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino cheeses

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

For the Sauce and to Serve:

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • Salt

  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground or flakes pepperoncini/red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup Italian red wine

  • 2 cups beef stock or bone broth

  • 1 jar (3 cups) passata

  • One 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

  • A handful of basil, torn

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Serves: 4

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

For the meatballs, combine all ingredients, roll meatballs about 2 ½ inches wide and bake on sheet pan until lightly browned, about 18 minutes. 

For the sauce, heat EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat in a large, deep nonstick pan or Dutch oven.  Add onions and sweat them with salt, add garlic, oregano and red pepper, then stir in tomato paste for 1 minute. Add red wine and reduce by half. Add stock, passata and tomatoes and break them up. Add basil and bring to a bubble, then add lightly roasted meatballs and simmer 20 minutes. 

Season water with salt and cook pasta a minute less than package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy water just before draining pasta.   

Remove the meatballs to serving bowl and top with about 1/3 of the sauce. 

Toss pasta with butter, cheese and sauce and transfer to a second serving bowl.