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Rigatoni and Meatballs

Every Italian-American grandma has a version of this sauce, served on Sunday. It's a thin, flavorful tomato puree served over rigatoni with meatballs, sausages, and any other meat that happens to be in the refrigerator.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2002


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 pints Canned Tomato Passato
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni, cooked


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef and pork, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, and salt. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and meatballs.

  3. Add white wine to same pan; deglaze by stirring up browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce wine by half, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and meatballs; bring to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low; cook, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Toss pasta in sauce; serve in a separate dish.

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